Tag Archives: leadership

Looking Back on Leadership Beliefs

Now that I'm a grandmother looking back on my fire service career, I feel as if I have something to share that I believe will help other public safety leaders to never lose faith in people and their organization. This is the best job in the world and my enthusiasm 36 years later is stronger than ever! I'm going to speak from the heart because I've always been a compassionate person who loves people.

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The Dawning of the Age of Enlightenment for the Fire Service

Why do I characterize our current day as the Age of Enlightenment for the fire service? Because after decades of firefighting strategy and tactics that are based upon the “I think, feel or believe” method of decision-making we’ve entered into an era where technologies and applied research are yielding the information we need to truly move toward becoming a data driven decision-making profession.

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Moral Courage

But moral courage is different. Instead of respect, it often brings isolation, which is why it’s so hard. Moral courage is doing what you believe is right even at the risk of inconvenience, ridicule, punishment, loss of job, security, social status or exile from one’s community or country. It means going against your peers which can be a very painful and even dangerous thing to do.

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Fire Prevention and Suppression: The Fire Service’s Identity Crisis

Driving a car once was an extremely dangerous activity for the average person (and it still is for people that don’t give it their full attention). In the United States, we’ve made significant reductions in the mortality and morbidity statistics associated with motor vehicle crashes and we’ve done it through education, engineering, and enforcement. We’re far past the time when we need to put more of our energies and efforts into those “3-E’s”—way more!—when it comes to eliminating preventable fires in our communities.

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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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Stressors for POC and Volunteer Firefighters

What I find to be true for the points made by both Linda and MB Firefighter is that all but one—the impact of emergency incident management on firefighters—are entirely within our scope as leaders and managers to manage out of the fire service.

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3 Tools for Sharing Organizational Knowledge

So how can we in the Fire & EMS profession more proactively “capture” such knowledge before it “walks out the door” with the next retiree? Let’s take a closer look at some of our “old and reliable” information management tools: policy, procedure, and processes. Frequently, we use these terms interchangeably, but they are not synonymous at all. However, if we understand how the “fit” together, we will find that they can serve as powerful tools to help transfer organizational knowledge from one generation of members to another.

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Diversity: The Elephant in the Room

Every time you participate in off color conversations, it reflects the dark side of yourself. Every time you laugh, nod, agree, insert your two cents, sit quietly uncomfortably reading your iPhone HOPING IT ENDS SOON, looking at the speaker or simply clearing your throat you are participating in the conduct that is unbecoming of a firefighter. Did you know that?

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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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