Category Archives:

As 2009 Ends

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I took some time to be with my family over the holiday so I have a little catching up to do.  I hope everyone had a very Merry Christmas and now we continue to ready ourselves for a New Year.  Since this might be my last post for 2009, I thought I’d leave you with […]

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 […]

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.

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?

You

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“The most common ego identifications have to do with possessions, the work you do, social status and recognition, knowledge and education, physical appearance, special abilities, relationships, person and family history, belief systems, and often also political, nationalistic, racial, religious, and other collective identifications. None of these is you.”

Being On The Top

While reading the ongoing saga in PG County last week, Dave Statter’s interview with Jerry Engle brought forth a quote that honestly, made me cringe: “When you are the best fireman in the county and you come from Kentland, I mean, yeah, everyone’s going to try to knock you off the pedestal.” Although I have […]

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 […]

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 […]

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