Category Archives:

It’s The Minimum

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With the exception of knock-off Rolexes, almost everything must meet specific standards.

Where Were You That Night?

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It was inevitable that something bad would happen, given what we know now. All we can do now is honor the lives of those who go before us, pray for the families and help them deal with this tragedy, and hope we all learn from the events that evening.

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.

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

The Case For Credentialing – The Argument

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  As discussed in the last post, there are those who are against credentialing, for their own reasons.  Because I have had plenty of discussions about the subject, I think I have the discussions channeled into four groups (and if you have a different argument, let me know, because I don't want to miss anything […]