Tag Archives: fire service culture

Clan Behavior and it’s Influence on Fire Service Culture

I submit for your consideration that fire department leaders will not find the “fix” until they recognize that those new members (outsiders) are being exposed to the behaviors and expectations of the firehouse clan from Day #1 with a department. Who’s teaching them in those entry-level training programs? Who’s working with them at the firehouse when they come on board?

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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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3 Giant Steps for First Responder Mental Health Issues

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Too many firefighters and EMS providers still adhere to a mind-set that mental health issues are something that happens to other people, but not them. Because to believe otherwise requires them to admit their own human frailties. They rely on this sense of denial about the realities of mental health risks as a “shield”, but it’s a “paper shield” at best.

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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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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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The Influence of Fire Department Training   

Fire service training is much more than just the imparting of knowledge, the acquisition of new skills, and the ability to apply that new knowledge and skills. Fire service training, from entry-level through incumbent staff training, is also the vehicle by which a department's culture and values are initially imprinted upon individuals or reinforced.

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What does a future fire officer look like?

What traits do you believe make a firefighter a good candidate to promote to Company Officer? I asked several fire service colleagues the question: What traits to you look for in firefighters as potential company officers? Two of those colleagues, Fire Chief Bud Backer and Division Chief Susan Tamme, provided some really good insights back to me via e-mail. I could only use a few of their comments in the finished article, but the rest were so good I just couldn’t leave them on the “cutting room floor.”

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