Tag Archives: thought leadership

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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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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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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Rethinking Fire Protection Strategies

Fire departments, large and small, continue to devote the large majority of their resources to big equipment, e.g., today’s engines and aerial apparatus, without a closer examination of the fire risk in their communities. And they’re doing so with less available staffing than ever before.

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