Category Archives:

A Little Safety Parable

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Firefighting isn’t Jackass: There is a serious difference between taking stupid risks and calculated risks.

What Does It Take To Be A Firefighter Anyway?

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If the people we are recruiting can’t even solve the simplest of daily problems, what makes us think that at 0200 with the roof falling in on us that there will be sudden improvement in judgement and reasoning?

Evolution And You

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In an uncharacteristic Firehouse Zen moment, I’m going to share some not-so-heartwarming news with you: If you fail to evolve, you will die.

Dedication to Customer Service

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I hear about all-hazards response all the time, but do we draw the line at “hazards”, or do we raise the bar a little?

In Any Change, Timing Is Essential

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I know company and chief officers who have no sense of timing. Imagine their surprise when not only do they get it wrong, but they look bad in the process. It doesn’t matter how right you are, if the time and opportunity don’t meet, you will find yourself on the losing end.

Your Fire Department Bucket List

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What organization would be on someone’s “bucket list”? What fire and emergency service rock stars would you like to invite to the station’s kitchen table?

Back To Work

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While the supervision of children isn’t that much of a stretch from my real job (supervising firefighters), it does bear discussion here, since it doesn’t seem that all fire officers have the same understanding.

Conflict

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Conflict is inevitable. Conflict will come regardless of how much you try to avoid it. Because it is inevitable, as a leader, you need to know how to deal with it.

If They Can Do This, So Can We

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Why we can’t get a better understanding across our personal dividing lines, I don’t know. But instead of talking about what color helmets we wear and how many lights we have on our POVs, maybe we should be taking on issues like recruitment of good people, understanding why some communities require career personnel and some must do with volunteers, understanding that some of us choose to be career and some find that they can volunteer in their communities, and some can actually do both, and any number of subjects.

International Influence

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We have to seek to understand deeper before we can determine and judge. In the process, we might also gain more information on subject matter that we didn’t have the answers to before.

Daily Values vs. Emergency Ops Values

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Like it or not, organizational values define organizational culture. These values help guide you in times when hard decisions must be made under ambiguous situations. When organizations lack defined values, or personnel don’t understand them as the gospel truth, they don’t always reflect those values when challenged.

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.

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.

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?

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