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Empty Cup

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An influential and very critical consultant came to inquire from the Chief about the amazing things his fire department was doing.  The consultant was constantly on the lecture circuit, telling others how to run their fire departments and second guessing the actions of leaders. Even with a probie and other firefighters nearby, the Chief personally […]

Who’s A Coward?

One reason for becoming a firefighter is the thrill when the public sees us as important. The power of being a firefighter is a natural high. The reality is that every time we call attention to our deeds, we are calling out,” Look at me!” When we celebrate that power, it creates a problem. There […]

For Any of You Who Complain About NFPA

We were talking last night on the Weekly Firefighter Hangout about “words that we live by” in the fire service and I was a little surprised not to hear anyone bring up the usual complaints on NFPA and other consensus standards, which seem to get thrown into a big steaming pile together when someone wants to badmouth […]

Resistance To Logic

You know you have a problem when what seems like a relatively innocuous change meets resistance, even in the face of a logical reason to change. Take for example, a recent article on CNN.com (link below) that reported a teen, for his science project, estimated a savings to the federal budget simply by changing fonts […]

Line Up For Your Beating

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If you haven’t noticed a problem in our society, perhaps the MMQ on the Boston LODDs will help you get there. We have become reliant on the sound bite, a single picture, or a video to judge others. Instead of understanding, we rush to be the first to promote our own ego and to assume our expertise. […]

Set The Controls For The Heart of the Sun

In my much younger and wilder days, and even today as a father of three, a wide range of music continues to influence my interest in the written word. While I never played guitar, before the advent of a lot of the electronic special effects, I prided myself in being able to discern the difference […]

In The Name of Love

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”

Optimization

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You don’t just “get there”: As any parent who has driven with children can appreciate, our subordinates, peers, and bosses all want to know “are we there yet?”

Broken Resolutions

There's that joke that if you are a member of a fitness club, you don't want to be there for the first two weeks of the New Year.  After that, those who resolved to go out and change their lives have pretty much given up.  People sign up with the best of intentions, only to […]

Feeding Our Scapegoats

Everything you see or hear these days that involves a mistake requires someone to pay for it.

Hey, Watch This!

The difference between a stunt man and Jackass is that stunt men are cool, calm professionals who study the art of doing dangerous things.

Liars and Thieves, Grasshoppers and Ants

In fairy tales, the grasshopper paid dearly for his poor work ethic, while the ant survived on her strong work ethic. And I remind you, those are just fairy tales: fiction.

Make It Fit

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Even if we are doing the things that we consider to be right, if we are saying the wrong things, we are creating the impression that it is okay to hate.

It’s Been A While

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There’s a reason Firehouse Zen isn’t the most popular fire service blog on the internet. It’s because I tell it to you like it is and hope you are listening.

Because of Pip: Taking Action

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Strive to make a difference in the world and do something for your neighbor. Maybe our world will have a chance to shine after all.

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