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.
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.
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.
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. 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 […]
Right now there is an interesting discussion on Dave Statter’s blog, STATter911 (in the comments) on orders given by a commissioner to remove a flag sticker from a locker. Despite the conversation outlining the age-old struggle between being too harsh and too lenient, the underlying issue is one of conflict: the escalation of events to […]
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 […]
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 […]