Tag Archives: fire service culture

Being the First-line Supervisor Ain’t Easy

The company officer (first-line supervisor) is the toughest "gig" in any fire department, but too many of those officers make it harder than it needs to be by not wanting "to be the bad guy", i.e., the officer who follows policy and procedure and makes everyone else follow them as well.

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Making Firefighter Safety Job #1

Reducing firefighter deaths and injuries is, or should be, a top priority for all fire departments in the USA in 2014. The 16 Lifesafety Initiatives from Everyone Goes Home provide the framework for a department to develop strategies for making the job of a firefighter safer, more effective, and more efficient. This article takes a closer look.

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Changing the Fire Service Culture

But changing a fire service organization’s culture is not as easy as changing the type of hose that your department carries on its fire apparatus. That’s because making changes to the culture—that mix of rituals, values, and traditions that defines a group—is tricky business and frequently messy. The current culture persists because it’s one of the main ingredients in the glue that holds the organization together. Culture exists in the “space” between people, not just in any one individual or small group of individuals.

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Sexual Assault and Rape in Fire Service

In this latest installment of Reader “Mailbag” I’ve collected several of the reader comments in response to the blog post, The Sexual Sexual Harassment Strike OutAssault and Rape of Women Firefighters: Survey Results. I gleaned the representative comments from across the various social media platforms where this blog appears, e.g., LinkedIn Groups, Facebook, and Twitter.

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Dr. Burt Clark: Fire Service History Maker

Many of us first became familiar with Dr. Clark and his “big thinking” approach to fire service issues when he was among the first fire service leaders on this firefighter safety issue: Firefighter “Mayday”. Dr. Clark was the first to bring awareness to the issue by asking the tough questions...

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Revisiting: “Thinking Outside the Box” for Fire Protection in the USA

Sound rather harsh? Sound unrealistic? So does closing fire stations and laying off firefighters. So does continuing to expose firefighters to increasing levels of risk of injury or death because of negligence on the part of building occupants, developers, and builders. So does continuing to increase the fiscal burden to local taxpayers to pay for an antiquated fire protection model that is reactive rather than proactive.

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The Sexual Assault and Rape of Women Firefighters: Survey Results

I’m sitting at my computer on a beautiful Sunday morning, Mother’s Day as a matter of fact, and I’m working on this blog post. And I’m getting madder by the minute. Mad because I’m collecting the written comments from the survey on Sexual Assault and Rape Against Women Firefighters and I cannot comprehend the idea that the same men who are treating the moms in their lives to flowers and cards and dinner are the same men who have sexually assaulted or raped their female colleagues in the fire station.

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Critical Volunteer Issues: Finding Practical Solutions?

From the volunteer fire company perspective, they were getting people in and getting those folks the required training, but then they were not able to actively participate in service delivery. There was a broad-based feeling (revealed when we conducted focus groups with volunteers) that all they ever got to do was “be the backups”.

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Good Guys and Gals Wear a Mask–And the Rest of Their Gear

I’ve come to realize that firefighters dying in fires is our very own inconvenient truth in the fire service…In spite of all we know about fire, in spite of all of the advances that have been made in technology, in spite of all of the advances in the science of fire prevention and suppression, in spite of the billions of dollars spent—firefighters still die.

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