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“We’ll Teach You a Lesson You’ll Never Forget”: The Rape of a Woman Firefighter

I was on duty with my team—we were a team of five, four firefighters and an officer—and rest time came about, and I went in my dorm to get some sleep. But that didn’t go as planned. My “team” walked in my dorm room. I thought I missed my pager or something, and before I could say a word, I had a hand over my mouth warning me to shut the fuck up or it would get ugly.

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Firefighter Pregnancy: Why is this so hard?

I believe that Federal Law does not provide adequate protection to women in the fire service. In other public safety careers, e.g., it can be much easier for a woman to either continue working their normal job or switch to another unit where they can get light duty.  For us firefighters, it is much harder, especially if you are in a smaller department.  Those light-duty opportunities are just not available.

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How I “Got” PTSD

I "got" trained to do what is needed to save lives. I didn't "get" PTSD. I had to do my job in situations where you cry just hearing about the "how horrible it must have been." I'm healing and adapting from PTSD. My human side just got tired. That's all.

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Who do you see at night?

That’s the only one that affected me in that way, and to this day, I have no idea why. There have been others that were worse calls, but I never had an issue afterward. It didn’t really bother me at the time, it was more of a, “Really? Why? Geez. Stop.”

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Business Intelligence Software That Helps Fire Departments to “Crunch” NFIRS Data

By: Robert Avsec, Executive Fire Officer A few months ago, I wrote an article for this space entitled Data Matters for Fire Departments across the U.S. where I discussed the importance of data collection for the present and future success of the fire service, and particularly data transmission to the National Fire Incident Reporting System (NFIRS). Of equal importance was ...

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Continuing Leadership Problems in a Fire Department

By: Robert Avsec, Executive Fire Officer This is the title of a recent post from my fire service colleague and attorney, Curt Varone, on his blog, Fire Law: Fairfax County’s Highest Female Officer Resigns From Women’s Program Officer Position WOW! There’s no other word that even comes close to describing my thoughts after reading Chief Stanley’s letter of resignation. After ...

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