Life Changes In A Split Second

The other day I think we all were thinking about the death of the child struck by a Kansas City engine as reported by Firehouse.com.  As you have probably heard thousands of times before, it doesn’t take too many incidents like this one to remind you that we have a huge responsibility while driving our […]

Fugate Nominated to Head FEMA

I’m always happy to see a fellow firefighter and paramedic do well for themselves, so I was pleasantly surprised to see that Florida Emergency Management Chief Craig Fugate was nominated to head up FEMA.  I don’t know him personally, but I think that among the preparedness aspects that he has championed for his state that […]

Trust and Letting Go

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I was clearing up from a reported water rescue the other day (turned out to be a false call) and I was reviewing the thoughts that had run through my head on the way to the alarm.  Unfortunately, the 18 years I spent as the special operations officer still causes me to immediately think "special […]

Missed Opportunities

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As a follow-up to my post from the other day about "striking while the iron is hot" in regard to educating others, I wanted to discuss a little bit about opportunity. Ancticipating  that at some point, an opportunity will occur to implement your vision or educate others, good leaders plan for that moment, and await […]

Customer Education

Every time I hear someone use the term "fireproof", it makes me think of something my dad (a retired Fire Marshal) used to say: "Nothing is fireproof; a cinderblock at the bottom of the ocean will burn if you can get it to the right temperature." When you hear people refer to SCBA as our […]

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 […]

It’s a Zen Thing

This isn't a very insightful post, but in light of the outstanding traffic we have been getting now with links on Dave Statter's STATter 911 blog, FireGeezer.com (at least they promised the link this week), FireRescue1.com's The Kitchen Table, and of course, the fine people (Dave) over at FirefighterNation.com who got me started in this endeavor, I […]

If You Can’t Be Careful, You’d Better Be Tough

It’s this simple; the setting is controlled, you have a plan for how things should work, and if things might go wrong, you should have alternative plans and safety measures in place. So how is it that we have so many training accidents in this day and age?

Learning From Your Performance – Conshohocken

Like a Warren Buffett quote used recently to in relation to the economic crisis says, “When the tide goes out, you see who’s been swimming naked”. Is your department shining the light of truth on its failures as well as the successes?

Experience vs. Learning

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We are coming to the end of a series of promotional exams for our personnel and I had someone say to me that a certain person deserved a promotion because they were the "most experienced" candidate. I'm of the belief that experience is only valuable if you actually learn from it.  Longevity isn't the same […]

Open Your Eyes In 2009

The fire service is as unified as it is finely divided. Until we can put aside our differences to realize that we DO have some common ground, and focus on solving those core issues, we will continue to fight these same battles.

Sometimes Treasure Is Right Under Our Nose

We have multiple sources of expertise within our organizations that people would kill to have; wouldn’t it be a shame not to recognize that?

The Value of Education

As Jamie Thompson over at The Kitchen Table points out, getting an education is an investment in your future. Yes, there are things that need cutting back in departments, but the training budget should be one of the last to go. As a chief officer in your organization, are you putting your money where your mouth […]

Lots of Work Ahead in 2009

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One of my biggest concerns in 2008 has been the dwindling funds available for urban search and rescue programs around the nation. When things cut loose out there, these are the resources that everyone wants, but given the state of funding for these programs and the state of the economy, they may also be the […]

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