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 and as the “blogger in chief” for this blog. Chief Avsec makes his home in Cross Lanes, WV. Contact him via e-mail, [email protected].

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 and, 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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More on fire service careers that don’t require entering burning buildings

By: Robert Avsec, Executive Fire Officer “The fire service is a dynamic and diverse profession. It offers a wide array of opportunities throughout one’s career, not only through promotions but also the variety of services offered.” So begins a very thoughtful and informative piece from my colleague, Billy D. Hayes, that’s just posted recently on, 8 fire service careers that ...

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