PTSD – The Changes No One Told You About

This whole PTSD thing is more than what any shrink could possibly tell us. Seriously. They all know the basics of it, the science of it, the consequences and more of it. Hey! They even made a nice medical chart, like a checklist of symptoms to be able to diagnose this injury… but what the hell do they do with us after? Do they really get it?

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Community Risk Reduction: What Should It Mean for Your Community?

By: Robert Avsec, Executive Fire Officer The other day, I came across a very informative and thought-provoking article on LinkedIn about Community Risk Reduction (CRR). As stated in the article, CRR is a “hot topic” for fire departments and emergency management professionals. The following is a quick synopsis of the key points covered by the author of the article. Is ...

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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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Hurricane Harvey: Another Hurricane, Another SNAFU

Once again, we’re seeing massive numbers of people being rescued from neck-high-deep water, from the rooftops of homes, and tens of thousands of people being housed in emergency shelters. And yet again, we’ve seen what happens when state and local governments send ambiguous and conflicting messages to the general public regarding emergency evacuations.

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Staff Officer Re-Entry: Going Back to Operations

Whether you volunteered for the staff officer assignment or you were given the assignment, I think you’re going to find that many of your bosses, peers, and subordinates in operations are going to view you as a “newbie”. They’re going to expect you to “prove yourself” as being capable of handling your new assignment in operations.

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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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