Tag Archives: accountability

Bullying and Harassment in the Fire Service: A Video Misses the Mark

Bullying and harassment in the fire service, as those behaviors are in the general population, are about power and control. Those individuals who engage in bullying or harassment do so because they want to maintain the status quo or they're seeking to elevate their status among their peers or they're insecure in their position of official power (officers). In my opinion, these elements are inter-related just as fuel, heat, and oxygen are critical elements necessary for combustion. If we can successfully remove these elements in our organizations, we can make the fire (bullying and harassment) go out for good.

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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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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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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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Engaging Our People in the Fire Service

People--especially those who enter the fire service--generally want to be successful and feel like they are making a contribution to the organization. Lack of clarity from their organizational leaders, and especially their first-line supervisor, in the form of clear expectations can be a significant "roadblock" to their success.

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Is it Responsibility, Authority, or Accountability?

As frequently happens when I’m teaching or facilitating training, my mind suddenly conjures up a story that makes a difficult concept much more easily understood by both my audience and me. While working with this particular group, the differences between responsibility, authority and accountability suddenly became crystal clear, for me as well as my group.

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Being the First-line Supervisor Ain’t Easy

The company officer (first-line supervisor) is the toughest "gig" in any fire department, but too many of those officers make it harder than it needs to be by not wanting "to be the bad guy", i.e., the officer who follows policy and procedure and makes everyone else follow them as well.

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