Tag Archives: leadership

Fire Prevention and Suppression: The Fire Service’s Identity Crisis

Driving a car once was an extremely dangerous activity for the average person (and it still is for people that don’t give it their full attention). In the United States, we’ve made significant reductions in the mortality and morbidity statistics associated with motor vehicle crashes and we’ve done it through education, engineering, and enforcement. We’re far past the time when we need to put more of our energies and efforts into those “3-E’s”—way more!—when it comes to eliminating preventable fires in our communities.

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Transition for the Future of Fire and EMS

What I found in my transition is a career that requires tremendous physical fitness in both strength and cardio, being able to think on your feet, working well under extreme stress, the ability to always work as a member of a team, and a desire to provide one of Maslow’s basic needs for humanity – to aid my fellow citizens in feeling safe in their communities.

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Stressors for POC and Volunteer Firefighters

What I find to be true for the points made by both Linda and MB Firefighter is that all but one—the impact of emergency incident management on firefighters—are entirely within our scope as leaders and managers to manage out of the fire service.

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3 Tools for Sharing Organizational Knowledge

So how can we in the Fire & EMS profession more proactively “capture” such knowledge before it “walks out the door” with the next retiree? Let’s take a closer look at some of our “old and reliable” information management tools: policy, procedure, and processes. Frequently, we use these terms interchangeably, but they are not synonymous at all. However, if we understand how the “fit” together, we will find that they can serve as powerful tools to help transfer organizational knowledge from one generation of members to another.

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Diversity: The Elephant in the Room

Every time you participate in off color conversations, it reflects the dark side of yourself. Every time you laugh, nod, agree, insert your two cents, sit quietly uncomfortably reading your iPhone HOPING IT ENDS SOON, looking at the speaker or simply clearing your throat you are participating in the conduct that is unbecoming of a firefighter. Did you know that?

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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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Developing Your Firefighters

Another thing I've never understood is "down time". What is this "down time"? Do these firefighters and officers know their job functions, their response district, the fire risks in that district, etc., so well that there is no need for training, drilling, touring, pre-planning, etc.? As a Company Officer, how much time are you devoting each tour-of-duty to those four important human capital development tasks?

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Fire Porn and Fire Service Public Image

Picture if you will the L. A. Police Department posting images and videos of the Rodney King incident. Or maybe imagine FEMA sporting "EMA porn" taken during Katrina in New Orleans on their website. Now imagine the public outcry that would occur if say LAPD made a music video out of the Rodney King beating with the soundtrack of Pat Benatar singing Hit me with your best shot or FEMA posting a video of the Katrina disaster images to the soundtrack of Scorpions singing Rock you like a hurricane. Two very extreme examples I admit, but just as questionable. In both cases, someone would end up with an express ticket to the unemployment line.

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Thoughts on Changing Fire Service Culture

Changing our culture? I saw this piece from Chief Robert Avsec on LinkedIn and I couldn't help myself so I posted my comments on the LinkedIn Group. Chief Avsec (the author) contacted me and asked me to use my comments as a Guest Blogger, so here I am.

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