Who do you see at night?

That’s the only one that affected me in that way, and to this day, I have no idea why. There have been others that were worse calls, but I never had an issue afterward. It didn’t really bother me at the time, it was more of a, “Really? Why? Geez. Stop.”

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What the Fire Service Needs from Mental Health Professionals and Vice Versa

Firefighter mental health

The effects of post-traumatic stress (PTS) and job-related stress (because PTS is not the only source of stress) on firefighters and EMS personnel is one of biggest challenges facing individuals and their departments. And it’s a challenge for which many of those individuals and their departments are ill-equipped to handle on their own. But that doesn’t mean the challenges can’t be overcome. It’s just going to take a new way of thinking.

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Business Intelligence Software That Helps Fire Departments to “Crunch” NFIRS Data

By: Robert Avsec, Executive Fire Officer A few months ago, I wrote an article for this space entitled Data Matters for Fire Departments across the U.S. where I discussed the importance of data collection for the present and future success of the fire service, and particularly data transmission to the National Fire Incident Reporting System (NFIRS). Of equal importance was ...

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Cases of Fire Departments Behaving Badly

How can any person feel that they’re doing a good job as a fire chief when their officers and firefighters are not being guided by policies—the governing documents for any organization—that are up-to-date, congruent with all federal and state laws, rules, and regulation, and focused on “doing the right thing”?

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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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Continuing Leadership Problems in a Fire Department

By: Robert Avsec, Executive Fire Officer This is the title of a recent post from my fire service colleague and attorney, Curt Varone, on his blog, Fire Law: Fairfax County’s Highest Female Officer Resigns From Women’s Program Officer Position WOW! There’s no other word that even comes close to describing my thoughts after reading Chief Stanley’s letter of resignation. After ...

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Rape in the fire service: A story revisited

Sexual assaults and rape being perpetrated on our sister firefighters by their colleagues–and in many cases their leaders–isn’t a women’s issue that they can solve.  It’s a failure of fire department leadership and that means it’s up to the men who occupy the majority of leadership positions in the fire service to eradicate this blight from our profession. 

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