Thought Leadership

Cases of Fire Departments Behaving Badly

How can any person feel that they’re doing a good job as a fire chief when their officers and firefighters are not being guided by policies—the governing documents for any organization—that are up-to-date, congruent with all federal and state laws, rules, and regulation, and focused on “doing the right thing”?

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Memo to iWomen: Stay Home!

Boycott of Fairfax County

And where's the "call out" for all the male firefighters in Fairfax County? Where have they been for the past two years--since Nicole Mittendorf's suicide? Why are they not standing up for their "sister" firefighters and demanding the fire chief's firing?

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Rape in the fire service: A story revisited

Sexual assaults and rape being perpetrated on our sister firefighters by their colleagues–and in many cases their leaders–isn’t a women’s issue that they can solve.  It’s a failure of fire department leadership and that means it’s up to the men who occupy the majority of leadership positions in the fire service to eradicate this blight from our profession. 

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Role Model Qualities for an Effective Company Officer

In today’s blog, I’m going to discuss what I believe is the fundamental role for any company officer: Being an effective role model. Every single day. Why do I believe that? My experience has shown me that a company officer’s success in any of their other roles, e.g., supervisor, teacher, mentor, fire ground commander, is predicated on the level of respect and confidence that they’ve developed with their firefighters.

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Data Matters for Fire Departments Across the U.S.

One of my former mentors, Deputy Chief (Ret.) Jim Graham of the Chesterfield County (VA) Fire and EMS Department, was a huge proponent for the use of information whether it was on a fire ground operation or developing a new training program or addressing budget reductions. One of his favorite sayings—one that stays with me to this day—was: “We must constantly strive to become better at data-driven decision making, instead of following the ‘I think, I feel, or I believe model.” But he usually followed that up with a caveat that we should also strive to ensure that we had good information, not just any information.

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Firefighters: Always be Humble and Kind, Especially to Each Other

By: Robert Avsec, Executive Fire Officer Humble and kind. Firefighters are known and respected for their caring and compassionate nature whether dealing with human tragedy on a call or standing outside in the rain to “Fill the Boot” for MDA (the Muscular Dystrophy Association) over Labor Day Weekend. So, why can we be so unkind to each other? A couple ...

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Interior Firefighting is Becoming Obsolete—We Just Don’t Know It

I’m not saying that firefighting as a whole is becoming obsolete, but I am proposing that we need to get out of the “pot” before we become boiled. Our approach to interior structural firefighting needs some serious restructuring lest we will only see more firefighters encountering flashovers upon arrival, structures weakened to their collapse point before firefighters arrive, and firefighters developing cancers more frequently from airborne and skin exposure hazards.

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Fire Chief Alan Brunacini

With Fire Ground Command, Bruno taught an entire generation of fire officers and firefighters how to take people, equipment, apparatus, water, etc., and bring it all together in a coordinated effort to extinguish fires.

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Accountability in the Fire Service

Creating a culture where employees are accountable means that first; the leaders must be accountable to the employees. Information sharing, discussions about challenges, and allowing everyone to engage in the dialogue is the first step in starting the change. Everyone makes mistakes, the difference is what the individuals do after the mistake.

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