Rescuer Addiction: Another Voice

I often use to call the struggle with weakness and hardship the “thing you didn’t talk about.” It was a sign of weakness to share with co workers my struggle with nightmares from traumatic rescue attempts, drinking too much, or severe anxiety attacks. We were the problem solvers not problem "havers."

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Fire and Life Safety Education Needs Social Entrepreneurs

Social entrepreneurship is about starting local movements that grow exponentially to solve massive social problems. Fire deaths and accidents are preventable, and yet they claim far too many lives each year. In 2016 there were almost half a million burn injuries in the U.S. and almost three thousand fatalities due to preventable home fires. The fact that so many of these could be avoided with fire and life safety education is stunning. And a prime example of a “massive social problem” that lends itself to a social entrepreneurship solution.

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15 Strategies for Success in a Fire Department Staff Position

You’ve no doubt become very comfortable with your company officer and your fellow firefighters in your fire station world. Your success thus far has been based upon your ability to work and socialize with people just like you—firefighters. Taking a staff position, e.g., an assignment in one of your department’s non-suppression work units, means you’re going to find yourself working with a more diverse group of people.

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Thoughts on Recruitment and Retention for the Volunteer Fire Service

By: Robert Avsec, Executive Fire Officer The recruitment and retention of members is a critical issue for many volunteer fire departments across the U.S. and Canada. Fundamentally, the problem has “many moving parts” as outlined by Rick Markley in his Introduction to my recently published e-book, Essays on Recruitment and Retention for the Fire Service: Recruiting and retaining outstanding firefighters is ...

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Firefighter Rehab and CO Poisoning

By: Robert Avsec, Executive Fire Officer CO poisoning is a significant health risk for firefighters who are exposed to smoke during fire suppression operations. Fire departments must increase their efforts to identify the early on-set of CO poisoning through aggressive assessment of all firefighters post exposure. And that needs to happen in firefighter rehab. In 2015, the National Fire Protection ...

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Fire Departments and Transparency

More importantly, isn’t it time that they truly know how important it is for them to practice fire safety behaviors in their homes and businesses? Maybe then they’d have a greater appreciation for having working smoke detectors, complying with building and fire codes, and supporting residential sprinkler systems for new residential construction.

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Firefighter humanitarian group expands aid to start 2nd decade

IFRM does not function as a disaster-relief agency. Rather, it’s goal is to solve chronically inadequate fire protection by working with local and federal officials to use the donation as a foundation for building a sustainable fire service. This often means it can take months, sometimes years, for a community to get the necessary pieces in place to be approved for IFRM donations.

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It ain’t my job. Or is it?

I hear what Dwight’s saying, which is even more reason for firefighters to get a good education on the fire code for their municipality during their entry-level training. We don't expect police officers to go out on the street without knowing the "rules of the game", right? I’m not proposing that every firefighter be trained and certified to NFPA 1031 standards, but I am saying that we as fire service leaders need start training firefighters to be more than firefighters—we need more fire preventers!

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