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America Burning – A Belated 40th Birthday Wish

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Many of you weren’t even alive when this report hit the stations (maybe even some of your parents weren’t either), but it was a very graphic expose of what we faced.

Credibility

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One of the biggest problems the fire service has is its credibility. I received multiple e-mails over the past few weeks about a confined space training near-miss that in reading the information, I found to be pretty troubling.

Breaking News: Huge Earthquake Hits Chile

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Quake was reported as being an 8.8 magnitude and is also the cause of a tsunami that is expected to strike various nations in the Pacific basin.

Report From Haiti

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US&R teams from around the world are engaging missions in Haiti: New York TF 1, Florida TFs 1 and 2, Virginia 1, California 2, and Colorado 1 are working in country, as well as teams from Jamaica, Costa Rica, Salvador, Peru, Ecuador, Nicaragua, Luxemburg, Canada, Russia, Spain, China, France, Iceland, St. Domingo, Mexico, Netherlands, the UK and Colombia.

US&R in Haiti: Wishing vs. Planning

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Every community must understand its vulnerabilities and the potential for disaster, and plan accordingly. The caveat to this is, that despite the presence of a written plan, you can have every contingency covered and discussed, if you don’t understand and practice the plan, it isn’t worth the paper it is written on.

Urban Search and Rescue – Rockbreaking 101

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Since there seems to be a huge lean forward right now from people who want to know more about US&R, and since US&R is (and has been) one of my main projects for over twenty years, I figure I’ll take the opportunity to point you all in some directions for information.

Vigilance and Haiti

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It is imperative that we take this opportunity to recognize that these disasters also affect our own communities, and this is the time when increased education of your customers is important: what to do if something like this happens here, who will respond, what your capabilities are and how you plan to address your needs in a disaster.

The Thanks of a Nation

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Maybe it’s the observation that many of the politicians who are quick to take credit for the nation’s preparedness are slow to ever visit a fire station, or maybe it’s my expectation that instead of having to beg for the table scraps that our law enforcement brethren leave for us, we might also get a seat at the main table, but I just don’t see the fire service gaining the amount of respect that we deserve for the sacrifices we make.

I Wanna Be A Libertarian

For the most part, I consider myself a Libertarian in that I'd just as soon the government not tell me what to do.  In some aspects, I guess, I'm pretty conservative in my values, so I'm a little Republican, and I like the idea of people on welfare getting off of it someday, especially since […]

Hypocrisy

When a man will condemn others but will not subject himself to the same ethical standards, that, my friends, is a hypocrite.   We talk about people living in glass houses and the logic for their not throwing stones, but we often fail to hold people to their statements that they made to get them to […]

1984

I woke up very early this morning with some reflections of how the last week has gone and was thinking back to how much easier it was in the "old days".  While the year 1984 has certain significance to many (you know, the book), the year has certain significance for me because it was my […]

The Case for Credentialing – An Opposing View

I’m distressed that a comment got sent to my spam filter regarding an earlier post and for that I apologize.  The poster made the comment that he didn’t think I’d print it.  As it is, I would hope by now that readers understand that I welcome opposing views, because it is only by listening to what others […]

The Case for Credentialing – Answering Your Comments

I hate to break free in the middle of this series like this, but there were some comments made that I wanted to discuss.  Since one is on one post and the other is on another post, I felt the need to tie them together and talk really quickly to the issue. On June 15, […]

The Case for Credentialing – Opportunists and Profiteers

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  And then, there are the profiteers.  My intent with Firehouse Zen is not to use it as a place to vent, but as a place to enlighten.  Venting may be entertaining for some, but for the most part, productive it isn't. So let's talk about why opportunists would be against credentialing, which should probably be […]

Update to the Series – Spontaneous Bystanders Unite

I guess I had an idea ahead of its time, even if it was only 48 hours ahead.: There are indeed a few challenges with this kind of emergent response, problems that if resolved, would go a long way toward goodwill with the community in general (it seems like everyone’s got some kind of beef […]

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