Tag Archives: leadership

Creating an Atmosphere that Supports Motivation in Your Organization

We can provide a sound organizational structure with policies and procedures that are congruent with an organization’s vision, mission, and values. And we can attempt to modify undesirable individual behavior, when necessary, using progressive discipline. But I don’t think that we can make anyone do something that they don’t want to do.

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A few rotten apples…

Chief Avsec and his surgically repaired shoulder. Note from Chief Avsec: As I continue to rehab from surgery to repair a partially torn rotator cuff, I came across this post from Brian McAsey, Assistant Deputy Chief of the Fire & Rescue Services Division at Calgary (Alberta) Fire Department, on LinkedIn. Chief McAsey graciously accepted my invitation to post his blog ...

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Memo to iWomen: Stay Home!

Boycott of Fairfax County

And where's the "call out" for all the male firefighters in Fairfax County? Where have they been for the past two years--since Nicole Mittendorf's suicide? Why are they not standing up for their "sister" firefighters and demanding the fire chief's firing?

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Interior Firefighting is Becoming Obsolete—We Just Don’t Know It

I’m not saying that firefighting as a whole is becoming obsolete, but I am proposing that we need to get out of the “pot” before we become boiled. Our approach to interior structural firefighting needs some serious restructuring lest we will only see more firefighters encountering flashovers upon arrival, structures weakened to their collapse point before firefighters arrive, and firefighters developing cancers more frequently from airborne and skin exposure hazards.

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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


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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