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Trust Is The Mortar

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Trust is the mortar, the bond between power and responsibility. Without empowerment, people are unable to act on their vision. Give someone power and they are free to create all kinds of possibilities.

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.

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.

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 […]

Innovation Distinguishes Between Leaders and Followers

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  If you didn't know, that's a quote from Steve Jobs (I didn't).  I was sitting in the office of our Deputy Chief/Ops, reading a magazine while he finished up a meeting, and I saw that quote.  I liked it a lot and wanted to share it with you. The quote was being used by […]

Star of Life Law Blog

I am encouraged by some of the blogs that are going on out there right now and I try to throw a link to the good ones over on the side over there (you know, over THERE, on your right).  A great one that popped up in the past few days has some serious merit; […]

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 […]

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 Argument for Credentialing – Moving On

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Now that we have discussed the four major players in the argument against credentialing, lets talk about the argument for it. A credential is only as good as the standard by which it is issued.  The point of having a credential should be to identify an individual or other resource as a certain type and […]

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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