Author Archives: Robert Avsec, Executive Fire Officer

Battalion Chief (Ret.) Robert Avsec served with the men and women of the Chesterfield County (VA) Fire and EMS Department for 26 years. He’s now using his acquired knowledge, skills, and experiences as a freelance writer for FireRescue1.com and as the “blogger in chief” for this blog. Chief Avsec makes his home in Cross Lanes, WV. Contact him via e-mail, rpa1157@gmail.com.

What you need to know about fire safety for active construction sites

It’s somewhat “newsworthy” when a week goes by that we don’t see or hear about a significant fire in a building under construction, renovation, or demolition. That’s because such fire incidents take place more often than most of us realize. In recent months, there have been fires in commercial buildings being renovated in Idaho, in a former Sony building in New Jersey being demolished and in multiple apartment buildings under construction across the U.S., including high profile incidents in Las Vegas and Texas.

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Firefighter Suicides Should Be Classified as LODDs

I want to see this change, because that's the only way we'll ever be able to move forward with healing the trauma that's the root cause in many of these suicides. Firefighters and other emergency responders (e.g., law enforcement officers, EMTs and paramedics, and public safety telecommunicators, aka, dispatchers) to coroners need better education and tools to deal w

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Protecting Your Fire Department’s Investment In PPE

Protect Your Department’s SCBA Investment with The Solo Rescue Decon Washer Shouldn’t there be a better way to clean and decontaminate your department’s SCBA? Especially when one considers that the cost of one SCBA unit can be three to five times the cost of one set of PPE (jacket and pants)? There is! The Solo Rescue Decon Washer from RESCUE Intellitech!

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7 Articles Relative to The Discussion of Improving Diversity and Inclusion in Fire Service Organizations

John S. Butler, currently the fire chief for the Fairfax County (Va.) Fire and Rescue Department, was the newly promoted fire chief for the Howard County (Md.) Department of Fire/Rescue Services in 2015 when he set a goal for increasing the diversity of his fire/rescue department. In setting that goal, Chief Butler challenged his staff to begin pursuit of that goal by answering "Why is it important to have a diverse and inclusive department?" before determining what recruitment and selection actions to pursue.

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What you know—or don’t know—about Millennials and Generation Z

By: Robert Avsec, Executive Fire Officer, with Dr. Lori Moore-Merrell In a recent post on FireRescue1, Rachel Engel, associate editor of FireRescue1.com and EMS1.com, wrote “While many fire service leaders still consider millennials to be the latest department newbies, it’s those in Generation Z (aka, Zeds) that are peak-rookie age.” She went on to ask, “What should fire service leaders know ...

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Cancer Risk Reduction: Supporting Motivation in Your Firefighters

I was fortunate in my career to attend many good—and some not so good—leadership and management courses, classes, and seminars. One common thread always seemed to be that one of the key functions of a leader/manager/supervisor (take your pick) is to motivate their employees or members. But can we really motivate another individual? Learn how to create an "atmosphere" that supports motivation in your firefighters.

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What’s on my mind? Thoughts of a former firefighter

And yes, the flashover was just as it is described in all the firefighting textbooks. That, I can verify. I don’t remember much after that. I remember my arms in front of me, falling, my head and body striking something, which turned out to be the first floor. I remember hearing the horn sounding for a firefighter evacuation.

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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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