Category Archives:

What Defines A Successful Outcome?

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We all define what completes a job, or any task, I should say, differently. What makes a task complete has to do with your work ethic, your education level, and the amount of feedback you receive from supervisory personnel.

Squirrel In The Middle of The Road

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Our job entails more than just responding to emergencies. It entails responding to community needs and assisting our neighbors. That assistance comes in many forms, but the agencies who get it will be survivors, and those who don’t, well, I think you can figure that out yourself. It’s not a matter of “if”, but “when”.

RESPECT

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I’m going to make this short and sweet: you will never be afforded the respect you think you deserve if you can’t clean up the mess you have made.

Technology Assessment

Our organization is really embracing some new concepts right now in an effort to improve capability. Sometimes these ideas work and sometimes they do not. But the act of trying these things out are learning opportunities in themselves.

Mixing EMS and The Fire Service

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When I hear anyone suggest that the merger of fire and EMS is a mistake because “firefighters lack the skills to provide paramedic care”, I am highly insulted.

I Am A Firefighter Because…

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I am a firefighter because I literally grew up in a firehouse. My grandfather was a firefighter’s firefighter. His nickname was “Smokey”. He was the Chief Fire Marshal in Montgomery County, PA up until his death in 1981. My uncles and my father all became firefighters as a result of his influence; not just firefighters but leaders in their field. I can’t think of anything else I’d rather be.

Get Everyone On Board

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If your small unit leaders aren’t on board with organizational vision, don’t count on the personnel they supervise joining in to resist them in carrying the desired vision out. It will be much easier on those troops if they can get along with their misdirected officer than if they embrace the change, so you can count on the message not getting through when it is most needed.

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.

Focus on Success

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While God gives you talent, your mentor can teach you how to use it, but it is up to you to have the positive attitude to propel it forward. Focus on commitment and excellence by looking at what matters NOW.

Capitalize on Your Strengths

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When we put together teams, the act of doing so in order to develop effective teams requires some thought as to what is needed by the organization, but to fail to consider the small team dynamics and assume everything is going to go swimmingly, is simply nonsense.

Almost Good Enough

What does it mean to be “good enough”? Is being good enough sufficient to meet the needs of our customers? Is it good enough to meet safety requirements? Is being “good enough” good enough to keep civilians from being killed, much less firefighters?

Values

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If your organization doesn’t have agreed-upon values, it’s a good time to get your people together and discuss some. Value statements provide direction to those who have to make a watershed decision at some point with little guidance otherwise.

Prove Yourself

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Don’t waste your time thinking that opportunity is going to come find you. The chief of department, when he has a sexy project, isn’t going to come hunting you down unless he is familiar with your track record. If you want those good assignments, you are going to have to sniff out and handle some unpopular ones first.

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.

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