Category Archives:

Taking The Plunge

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Happy New Year! Recently I was on my way to work and marveling at the sunrise (I get a good shot of it going over the Cross Island bridge on the way to my station) and got to remembering one call where a person dove off that very same bridge.  I was thinking, if you’re […]

Command Presents

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It’s that time of the year that we hear the word “presents” often enough to make your ears bleed, so I was wondering if my misuse of the word “presents” got your attention. Apparently it did, or you wouldn’t be reading this now.  Or maybe you didn’t notice.   If you didn’t notice, go and […]

The Source of “IT”

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I think I may have found the source of “IT”.  It is a passion, a desire to elevate whatever you do to art form.  A few weekends ago I got to see it first-hand; in the form of a fourth-generation Iranian American rug importer, a sixty-year old rock musician, and a business owner/mother of three. […]

Playing With Sharp Objects

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Recently I was dwelling on an inventory of stupid and dangerous things I have done in the past. Since the list was way too long to go on about, I began to wonder why I did those things.  While some of them were from my youth (like jumping off a roof with an umbrella), and […]

An Atmosphere of Trust

Trust is a pretty interesting concept of its own. As a leader, you have to earn the trust of the troops. And as I pointed out, twenty years of being their buddy can go right out the window if you hose them on one thing.

The Fixers

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What is our mission in the fire service? How can we go on in our lives without a suitable title for what it is we do?

Use of Faith-Based NGOs As Disaster Response Partners

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For some of the new readers here, not only is Firehouse Zen about enlightened leadership, it is about management issues and creative solutions to ongoing problems in the emergency service industry.  If you are a long-time reader, you may recall our discussions in the past regarding disaster response and credentialing, and in an effort to […]

Distance Separates Us

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Distance separates us.  Of course it does, you are probably thinking.  That’s not that much of a revelation.  But distance separates us all the more so because by being distant, or more so, by not being alike, it also indicates a schism between you and I.  The fire and emergency services are united in our […]

Engagement

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I was going through back issues of T+D Magazine and came upon an article by Paula Ketter, “What’s The Big Deal (About Employee Engagement)” .  In it, Ketter states: “Engagement is all about creating a culture where people do not feel misused, overused, underused, or abused”.  That’s a pretty tall order for the cultures of […]

Declarative, Imperative, Interrogative and Exclamatory

I was helping my oldest daughter with her English homework and we were having a discussion of the four kinds of sentences: declarative, imperative, interrogative and exclamatory.  In light of all of the rhetoric lately on a few items, (you know, the Chester Flag Incident, the DCFEMS Live Burn Incident, etc.- and it is just […]

Qualities of a Leader

Fire Critic this morning posted on top ten desired qualities of officers.   It links a lot of the ideas I have put forth to you in regard to leading and you should check it out and expound on it.  Enjoy.

Balance In Power

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Right now there is an interesting discussion on Dave Statter’s blog, STATter911 (in the comments) on orders given by a commissioner to remove a flag sticker from a locker.  Despite the conversation outlining the age-old struggle between being too harsh and too lenient, the underlying issue is one of conflict: the escalation of events to […]

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