Tag Archives: management

Excused Absence

Hi, and welcome back.  This summer has been an interesting one.  Lifetime achievements and catastrophic failures in arenas personal and professional led to an amazing amount of stress and an overall reluctance to even sit at the keyboard. The passage of some “me” time hasn’t done anything to totally eliminate the highs and lows, but at least […]

This Is A Hate Speech

Do you know what I hate? Hate.  When I was young, I may or may not have said I hated one of my siblings. I remember my mother telling me that “hate” is a really strong word. I may not like the offending sibling.  I may not even want to be around them for a […]

Considering Perspectives

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The man in the picture is my grandfather, Earl C. Mayers, better known to many as “Smokey”.  To me, he was “Grandpop”. My whole life he served as “the Fire Marshal”.  I say it like that because he carried that title in several jurisdictional responsibilities, the most visible being the Chief Fire Marshal for Montgomery County, Pennsylvania until his death […]

Consequences

So, I’m assuming most of us in the emergency services world feel a little bit vindicated when we see a picture of a car, illegally parked in front of a fire hydrant, with a hose run through the smashed out windows. We have all seen a few either online, or in the news, or have even been on an […]

Adversity

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We all face it. Adversity. It’s what we do with it that matters. I’ve been slogging through a rough month and a half.  Things that have always gone right have gone inexplicably awry. People I thought I could count on, managing to question my faith. Even the things I have always sought to be my […]

Reaching Out – Talking About Suicide to Prevent It

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NOTE: I added a few other resources at the end of the post.  Please share these if you know someone who needs help. In the very first week of November  in 1993, a week I remember well, a fellow responder of mine put a bullet in his head.  He, along with many of my friends, were supposed […]

Different Perspectives on Truckies and Other Things

Over on UniformStories.com I posted about a subject near and dear to my heart: the Truckies. Having led the Truck Company for most of my career (although now the “chief” days seem to be adding up), I wanted to share a little bit about what it is they do and why they have such a following. […]

Five Hundred and Five – Abandonment

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This is the five hundred and fifth post for Firehouse Zen. I would probably have called attention to number five hundred, but it was in the middle of the series honoring my brother’s 50th birthday and didn’t want to distract from THAT celebration. That is a lot of writing over a lot of days.  If you […]

Consider Diversity

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I happened to read Chief Matt Tobia’s piece on racism in the American fire service the other day (and you can read it here at FirefighterNation.com). The United States has a long and embarrassing history of discrimination.  This is not to say other nations have not, but given that the United States of America was […]

Pay To Spray Redux

This is going to be an article about fire service funding, or the lack of it. If you are easily distracted, don’t read the title and start spouting off. There is ALWAYS more to the story than just your perspective.  Tragedy doesn’t begin to describe this situation, but in Saskatchewan a few days ago, two […]

Constant, Stable Spirit

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There is a tenet of Eastern philosophy, heijoshin, that translates to maintaining a “constant, stable spirit”.  The premise is that while we are constantly buffeted by distractions and emotions and other tumult, the true master lives in a constant and stable spirit, considering that nothing is permanent, that nothing is sacred, and that everything and […]

Lost Trust

I was reading an article this morning about yet another mutt (just because they are a “member” somewhere, I refuse to call them “firefighter”) whose actions erode the community’s trust in us as they broke into their own station and vandalized it.  To me it seems like the fire service could weed them out. However, even in my own […]

Promoting Mindfulness

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I woke this morning for a third time, having gone back to sleep when the alarm rang (twice- it’s a holiday), then later taking a nap (third time). Feeling refreshed, I sat down to take care of the business end of Firehouse Zen: answering e-mails, checking the Twitter feed, etc.  I also decided a “first post” for […]

Leadership That Matters: Series Links

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Back in 2012 I ran a 21-part series on Firehouse Zen on altruism and leadership (going back I realized I skipped Part 18- go figure).  There are any number of analogous theories that run along this vein, including just culture, transformational leadership, and servant leadership.  In each, the common thread is the concept of leading from […]

Career Change

The sign in front of one of the churches was advertising that “Prophet John Doe” [name changed for obvious reasons] was going to be holding a revival.  I wondered: “What are the job requirements for being a prophet? ” I kind of liked the idea of having the title “Prophet” in front of my name.  I […]

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