Getting Firefighters Back on the Job Following an Injury

According to a December 2016 story published in the Denver Post, the Denver Fire Department saw a 42 percent decrease in worker’s comp claims from overexertion as well as the cost of treating injuries to lower backs, shoulders and knees (Which, along with overexertion, accounted for the majority of the department’s worker’s compensation costs).  

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EVO Program: Regulating Your Fire Department’s Driving Risks

By: Robert Avsec, Executive Fire Officer Several years ago, at a fire service conference, I attended a session on reducing risk in fire departments. The presenter, whose name escapes me, make a statement that really stuck with me, “You cannot manage or eliminate risk in this business, but you can regulate it.” He went on to explain that regulating meant ...

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Catching up with a PTSD Sufferer and Survivor

Treating and recovering from a brain that's been injured through post traumatic stress (PTS) or PTSD is unlike that for a physical injury that's visible to the world. Former firefighter and PTSD sufferer/survivor Nathalie Michaud writes about here continuing journey.

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Becoming Proactive on Firefighter Mental Health Challenges

If we’re to be successful in becoming more proactive in our efforts to protect our people from the emotional toll that our profession can take on firefighter mental health, shouldn’t we be taking a good hard look at the one place that they should feel safe, secure, and respected, the fire station?

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New Addiction Treatment Center for Firefighters and EMS Personnel

By: Robert Avsec, Executive Fire Officer Addiction treatment for firefighters and EMS personnel in an atmosphere that provides respect, safety and security for those seeking help. Along with top-notch mental health and addiction treatment professionals. Every day that I wake up on the “right side of the grass” is a good day, and last Friday was a great day! After ...

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The “Management Trap”: How Fire Service Leaders Can Avoid Getting Snagged

By: Robert Avsec, Executive Fire Officer I believe that three of the most important terms in personnel management are responsibility, authority and accountability. I’ve written about theses inter-related terms–they’re not synonyms–previously, and today I’m going to talk about what I believe is the most overlooked of the three: Accountability. (If you missed that previous blog, I encourage you to read ...

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Organizational Climate: Another “Weather” Report

Much is being written and discussed about the fire service and its culture of risk-taking and the influence of that culture on firefighter deaths and injuries. But there is also the culture of the firehouse, and that’s the culture that’s influencing the inappropriate behaviors, on and off the job, that are resulting in careers being ruined, lawsuits being filed, and in the worst cases, firefighters taking their own lives.

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