Tag Archives: thought leadership

Book review: “Hot zone”–Memoir of a Professional Firefighter

I've read many other books about the firefighter experience over the years, but none of those authors managed to give me that same feeling that “I was there,” like Dennis Smith's "Report from Engine Co. 82." But that came to a screeching halt when I started reading “Hot Zone” written Division Chief (Ret.) Chris Howes. Howes has written what I believe will become “the book” that accurately describes the journey of a person in a fire and EMS department from the day they start their probie (entry-level) training to the day they retire.

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Gordon Graham: The “Go to Guy” for Understanding Risk Management in Public Safety

I first heard Gordon Graham speak about risk management in the realm of public safety many years ago when he was the keynote speaker at the Mid-Winter Conference of the Virginia Fire Chiefs Association. From that moment I became a true believer in one of Graham’s core tenets “Predictable is preventable,” along with his concept of evaluating risk in public safety by asking two key questions. What’s the level of risk for an activity or operation? What’s the frequency for that risk?

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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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Why interior firefighting will be obsolete by 2030

We've only seen the beginning of the firefighters developing cancer from their occupational exposures. The numbers for those cases are going to skyrocket in the next 10 years; and along with the number of cases will be an even more daunting rise in health care premiums (That many localities still pay for their firefighters) and workers compensation claims being paid by local and state governments.

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Interior Firefighting is Becoming Obsolete—We Just Don’t Know It

I’m not saying that firefighting as a whole is becoming obsolete, but I am proposing that we need to get out of the “pot” before we become boiled. Our approach to interior structural firefighting needs some serious restructuring lest we will only see more firefighters encountering flashovers upon arrival, structures weakened to their collapse point before firefighters arrive, and firefighters developing cancers more frequently from airborne and skin exposure hazards.

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Staff Officer Re-Entry: Going Back to Operations

Whether you volunteered for the staff officer assignment or you were given the assignment, I think you’re going to find that many of your bosses, peers, and subordinates in operations are going to view you as a “newbie”. They’re going to expect you to “prove yourself” as being capable of handling your new assignment in operations.

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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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