Tag Archives: diversity

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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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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Preparing Firefighters for the Real World

Today's firefighters face a multitude of situations daily that require knowledge, skills, and abilities far beyond those required to fight fires, provide medical care and rescue entrapped victims. Many of those situations require skills more akin to a social worker than that of a firefighter.

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The Fire Service Change Agent

Change has to become part of our culture, whether that is in the training we are currently using for seasoned staff or with the new generation of firefighters that are coming on board. Part of that desired change is diversity, yet it is a challenge in many professions, including our own, so how do we accomplish it?

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Thoughts on Fire Service Diversity and Inclusiveness

We can change the culture in the fire service, but not through solutions like policy or procedure or training or lawsuits. The change must come from the “majority stakeholders” in the fire service: Men. Men must take responsibility and ownership for the problems we face in the fire service. And right now, they must also take responsibility for seeking and implementing the solutions.

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Firefighter Recruitment for Today

I’m seeing more postings on social media platforms, e.g., Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, promoting social media infographicfirefighter employment opportunities in various locations around the USA and Canada. That’s a good thing, for sure, because if people don’t even know about the opportunities that are out there…but I don’t think that using social media to promote job announcements is any kind of “silver bullet” for fire service organizations looking to attract quality people to their “tribe.”

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Why did you want to become a Firefighter?

That question has been around for generations, no? As leaders in Fire and EMS organizations, do we truly know the answer for ourselves and others in our organizations? If we are to continue to recruit and training and retain the individuals necessary to adequately staff our organizations in the coming years, perhaps we would be better served to ponder the question.

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Transition for the Future of Fire and EMS

What I found in my transition is a career that requires tremendous physical fitness in both strength and cardio, being able to think on your feet, working well under extreme stress, the ability to always work as a member of a team, and a desire to provide one of Maslow’s basic needs for humanity – to aid my fellow citizens in feeling safe in their communities.

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