Tag Archives: education

Finding Art in Unexpected Places

Firegeezer posted a very recent article that reminds us art, as in beauty, is in the eye of the beholder. While there are individuals out there who think that art is only art if it speaks equally to everyone who views it, there are those of us who see things differently and can see beauty and form even in leading others. It’s a matter of being open to what constitutes art.

Daily Values vs. Emergency Ops Values

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Like it or not, organizational values define organizational culture. These values help guide you in times when hard decisions must be made under ambiguous situations. When organizations lack defined values, or personnel don’t understand them as the gospel truth, they don’t always reflect those values when challenged.

What Defines A Successful Outcome?

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We all define what completes a job, or any task, I should say, differently. What makes a task complete has to do with your work ethic, your education level, and the amount of feedback you receive from supervisory personnel.

Squirrel In The Middle of The Road

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Our job entails more than just responding to emergencies. It entails responding to community needs and assisting our neighbors. That assistance comes in many forms, but the agencies who get it will be survivors, and those who don’t, well, I think you can figure that out yourself. It’s not a matter of “if”, but “when”.

Technology Assessment

Our organization is really embracing some new concepts right now in an effort to improve capability. Sometimes these ideas work and sometimes they do not. But the act of trying these things out are learning opportunities in themselves.

Mixing EMS and The Fire Service

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When I hear anyone suggest that the merger of fire and EMS is a mistake because “firefighters lack the skills to provide paramedic care”, I am highly insulted.

Character vs. Characters

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Has the bar gotten so low that we’re willing to bring in anyone, so long as they can fog a mirror? I know staffing is tight right now, but if the personnel on my team can’t be trusted to do the right thing when no one is looking, what reason should I have to trust them when the going gets tough?

I Am A Firefighter Because…

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I am a firefighter because I literally grew up in a firehouse. My grandfather was a firefighter’s firefighter. His nickname was “Smokey”. He was the Chief Fire Marshal in Montgomery County, PA up until his death in 1981. My uncles and my father all became firefighters as a result of his influence; not just firefighters but leaders in their field. I can’t think of anything else I’d rather be.

Get Everyone On Board

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If your small unit leaders aren’t on board with organizational vision, don’t count on the personnel they supervise joining in to resist them in carrying the desired vision out. It will be much easier on those troops if they can get along with their misdirected officer than if they embrace the change, so you can count on the message not getting through when it is most needed.

Capitalize on Your Strengths

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When we put together teams, the act of doing so in order to develop effective teams requires some thought as to what is needed by the organization, but to fail to consider the small team dynamics and assume everything is going to go swimmingly, is simply nonsense.

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?

Prove Yourself

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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.

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.

Taking FHZ to Wayne County, PA

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As a quick aside, if any of you are interested, I’ll be in Wayne County, PA on January 30-31, teaching at the Browndale Fire Department. I don’t know if there are any open spots left, but contact info is on the flier.

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.

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