Category Archives:

Breaking News: Huge Earthquake Hits Chile

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Quake was reported as being an 8.8 magnitude and is also the cause of a tsunami that is expected to strike various nations in the Pacific basin.

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.

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 […]

1984

I woke up very early this morning with some reflections of how the last week has gone and was thinking back to how much easier it was in the "old days".  While the year 1984 has certain significance to many (you know, the book), the year has certain significance for me because it was my […]

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 – Organizations That Need to Go Away

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Here’s one for you; a subject near and dear to my heart and the reason why we have standards.  As a matter of clearing up any legal challenges, I have to make an official statement here as a result of some of the positions I hold: My opinions and views as expressed here and throughout […]

The Case for Credentialing – The Spontaneous Bystander

First, we have the genuine thing, the spontaneous bystander, who sees a need for action, then does something about it.  Rescue911 commented on the story of the Good Samaritan and how a traveler, with no reason to do so other than to help his fellow man, went out of the way to assist another.  This lends a […]

The Case for Credentialing

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I'm about to launch into a multi-part blog to discuss the merits of credentialing.  Right now I am aware of some opposing arguments to the requirement that disaster response personnel have credentials, particularly when it comes to those who routinely offer their services after a disaster but are not necessarily part of a response entity. […]

Planning for US&R Teams

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I was sharing some information with a colleague tonight and I realized that perhaps some of you reading might like access to this research as well.  This is my paper on Developing a Strategic Plan for the South Carolina Urban Search and Rescue Program. It is a pretty lengthy read (115 pages) but if you […]