Category Archives:

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?

Get Your Facts Straight

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What facts may seem to be in evidence right now may not always be accurate, thus the need for continual re-evaluation of your situation. Even though something appears to be true right now, it might not be in a few minutes, a few hours, or a few days.

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.

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 […]

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 […]

Science Is Your Friend

While taking Honora to school a few days ago, Bob Edwards was speaking on NPR Radio with Chris Mooney and Sheril Kirshenbaum, the authors of the book, “Unscientific America”.  While the book apparently discusses “scientific illiteracy”, some of the commentary seemed applicable to what we currently endure in the fire service; clinging to tradition for […]

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 […]

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 […]

I Had A Vision

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I woke up this morning with an idea for emergency services that is already a reality. It’s funny about technology in our business; innovation driven by the private sector and the military is implemented and has probably run through four or five revisions, then we look at it and say, “Wow, this is amazing technology!” while the others have likely moved on.

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 […]

The Past Will Continue To Haunt Us

I'm supposed to be working on my final Executive Fire Officer paper but in doing some literature review, I came across a voice from the past.  I happened upon a copy of "The Fire Chief's Handbook" from 1978.  Now to someone like me, 1978 doesn't sound like too long ago.  But putting it into perspective, […]

Multiplicity of Command

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How many more times does disaster have to strike before responders finally learn the lesson of the need for unified command?  How many times do agencies need to experience a tug-of-war over resources, slow response to needs due to poor inter-agency communication, and lousy coordination all because the "powers that be" refuse to put their […]

The Importance of Being Earnest

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For some reason today I was reflecting on two of the worst teachers I had when I was in school (back around the Ice Age) and just why they were such terrible teachers.  I suppose that other than their lousy personalities, it would have had to be their passive-aggressive nature when it came to the […]

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