Tag Archives: fire service culture

Accountability in the Fire Service

Creating a culture where employees are accountable means that first; the leaders must be accountable to the employees. Information sharing, discussions about challenges, and allowing everyone to engage in the dialogue is the first step in starting the change. Everyone makes mistakes, the difference is what the individuals do after the mistake.

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Changing Human Behavior to Prevent Fires

If we truly want to eradicate preventable fires, we must start by using language that clearly identifies the responsible party; it’s not the fire, it’s the person whose improper behavior created the conditions that enabled the fire to start.

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Organizational Climate: Another “Weather” Report

Much is being written and discussed about the fire service and its culture of risk-taking and the influence of that culture on firefighter deaths and injuries. But there is also the culture of the firehouse, and that’s the culture that’s influencing the inappropriate behaviors, on and off the job, that are resulting in careers being ruined, lawsuits being filed, and in the worst cases, firefighters taking their own lives.

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The Influence of Fire Department Training   

Fire service training is much more than just the imparting of knowledge, the acquisition of new skills, and the ability to apply that new knowledge and skills. Fire service training, from entry-level through incumbent staff training, is also the vehicle by which a department's culture and values are initially imprinted upon individuals or reinforced.

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What does a future fire officer look like?

What traits do you believe make a firefighter a good candidate to promote to Company Officer? I asked several fire service colleagues the question: What traits to you look for in firefighters as potential company officers? Two of those colleagues, Fire Chief Bud Backer and Division Chief Susan Tamme, provided some really good insights back to me via e-mail. I could only use a few of their comments in the finished article, but the rest were so good I just couldn’t leave them on the “cutting room floor.”

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The Fire Service Change Agent

Change has to become part of our culture, whether that is in the training we are currently using for seasoned staff or with the new generation of firefighters that are coming on board. Part of that desired change is diversity, yet it is a challenge in many professions, including our own, so how do we accomplish it?

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Women and minorities in the fire service need champions

Male firefighters—for the most part—never think twice about seeking such positions, especially promotions, before they’re “ready.” Female firefighters, like their counterparts in most other professions, don’t actively seek promotions and the like until they feel they are “ready.” For the most part this is because of the male-centric aspect of our fire service culture that requires that a female firefighter has to work twice as hard and be twice as good as their male counterpart to “prove” themselves as being “worthy” of promotion.

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Engaging Our People in the Fire Service

People--especially those who enter the fire service--generally want to be successful and feel like they are making a contribution to the organization. Lack of clarity from their organizational leaders, and especially their first-line supervisor, in the form of clear expectations can be a significant "roadblock" to their success.

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