Category Archives:

Prove Yourself

Entry Img

Don’t waste your time thinking that opportunity is going to come find you. The chief of department, when he has a sexy project, isn’t going to come hunting you down unless he is familiar with your track record. If you want those good assignments, you are going to have to sniff out and handle some unpopular ones first.

Trust Is The Mortar

Entry Img

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

Entry Img

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

Entry Img

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

Entry Img

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 Source of “IT”

Entry Img

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. […]

The Thanks of a Nation

Entry Img

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.

The Fixers

Entry Img

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?

Use of Faith-Based NGOs As Disaster Response Partners

Entry Img

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 […]

Distance Separates Us

Entry Img

Distance separates us.  Of course it does, you are probably thinking.  That’s not that much of a revelation.  But distance separates us all the more so because by being distant, or more so, by not being alike, it also indicates a schism between you and I.  The fire and emergency services are united in our […]

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 […]

Ambition

At Mass today there was a reading from the Letter of St. James that got me thinking: “Where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there is disorder and every foul practice.”  It goes on to say, “Where do the conflicts among you come from?  Is it not from passions that make war within your members?” It […]

Innovation Distinguishes Between Leaders and Followers

Entry Img

  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 […]

Reserving Our Scorn for the Deserving

Entry Img

  I know that I am one of the chief purveyors of snarkiness as a means of combating the less-than-professional element in our midst.  I guess that just because I have a personal vision of what I'd like to see the fire service evolve into, there are those out there who also have a vision […]

Elvis, Urban Legends, Grapevines and The Firehouse

Entry Img

  Elvis has left the building, in the literal sense.  Elvis Presley came to mind today because of the Facebook vote we are taking for a colleague as to whether or not he and his fiancee should elope to Vegas and get married by an Elvis impersonator.  But as happens with many ideas of mine, […]

Page 4 of 6« First...23456