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Just curious, how many of you can relate to my latest editorial
illustration? My guess is many of you have experienced this beat-down,
or have at least witnessed it first hand. I'd love to hear your
stories...



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Great editorial illustration brother and I wish this were not nor ever the case in our fire service society. The cold hard truth is this is the reality of the world we live in! You see MM QB not just in the Fire Service but in daily life, politics, religion, it's everywhere and spreading like the swineflu epidemic!

KTF!
I heard a phrase that was credited to John Fox the Coach for the Panthers, and I think it applies here. "Anyone can criticize my decisions but first they need to make a better decision in the same 10 seconds that I had to make it." My department responds as mutual aid to several other departments on any reported structure fire so we often critique the decisions made by the first in crews, right or wrong I always remind our members that in hind sight we can see what could have done better and hopefully if we have the exact same fire again we will do better but the other dept. did the best they could with time, information and manpower available. We always have to remember looking back we have days to MM QB while the ones responding only have seconds.
As the old saying goes, "There is more than one way to skin a cat". We need to stay constructive with our reviews and use them to better the fire service as a whole. Especially in a day and age where there are cameras and camra phones everywhere, our critiques need to be brutaly honest. Its too bad that lawyers and law suits prevent this honesty by always looking for a fall guy. That mentality has infected our whole society. Their always looking to hang someone. If we are able to keep our firehouses as private learning sanctuaries and be open and learn from our or someone elses mistakes then we are ahead of the game. Unfortunately the fact remains that we can only control 25% of the illustration above.
We had an instructor that told us that we were not going to do a "critique" of our training class but that we would "analyze" our training. His reasoning for this is that the word "critique" also means to "criticize". Monday Morning Quaterbacking more times than not turns into "criticizing" what our Brother's did at an incident. Which in turns, starts the "gossip mill" going at full speed and then that turns into tension in "Our House" between "Our Family". No good ever comes from this. WE are all guilty of this, even if it starts out unintentional. If we want to keep breaking our morale and Our BROTHERHOOD down then keep on "quarterbacking". If we to build up our BROTHERHOOD and then let's quit the "quarterbacking" and start learning/training from our mistakes. In my experience, the ones that criticize or "quarterback" usually did not wake up at "0200" on a cold winters night for the incident, they were not there at all but yet they always say they could have run the incident better. It's up to ALL OF US to do a better job at controlling the "quarterbacks". I'm not saying we need to "sugar coat" our analysis or whatever your dept calls it either, we have to be honest so we can all learn from each others mistakes that "we all make".

Stay Safe Brothers and Keep On Training!

Larry
I have to agree with everything so far. Larry, Brother you hit the nail on the head! I used the NJ incident in my training class yesterday. After the crew had a couple minutes to "critique", we got down to business. I used our town to illustrate to the guys how easy that could be us! I added some familiar names to the NJ Brothers and the crew responded very well! Positive discussion was the result. All of us have had jobs go bad, if not, then you are real lucky or you just got out of probie school! None of us, Officers or Firefighters are perfect, we are human, we make mistakes. Train hard and often, take care of the Fire Service! This is who we are as Brothers! Paul, OUTSTANDING ILLUSTRATION!
-My favorite quote is from Teddy Roosevelt.
-"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly, who errs and comes short again and again; because there is no effort without error or shortcoming; but ho knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause. Who at the best knows, in the end, the triumph of high achievement, and who, at worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly; so that his place shall never be with those cold souls that know neither victory nor defeat"
-In short, TR was using nice language to say F@#% the Critics!!!
-There is an old "ism" in Hollywood that says, "If you listen to those that praise you then you are compelled to listen to the critics as well".
-Though criticism is usually considered to be a negative thing it can be constructive and performance enhancing. It is interesting though that criticism is usually offered by those that do not participate in the fight and have neither the tools nor the ability to actually play the game.


Ron Becknell said:
I heard a phrase that was credited to John Fox the Coach for the Panthers, and I think it applies here. "Anyone can criticize my decisions but first they need to make a better decision in the same 10 seconds that I had to make it." My department responds as mutual aid to several other departments on any reported structure fire so we often critique the decisions made by the first in crews, right or wrong I always remind our members that in hind sight we can see what could have done better and hopefully if we have the exact same fire again we will do better but the other dept. did the best they could with time, information and manpower available. We always have to remember looking back we have days to MM QB while the ones responding only have seconds.
Brick, that TR quote got me through a long 3 months, when you sent it to me! You speak the truth Bro, ,Well said!

Be Safe
Jeff
You know what? It happens exactly the same the world over. We sit around the mess room table and pick holes in the jobs that went on the night before. Armchair experts we all are. I know its bad, and most of our comments end with someone saying along the lines of "it's easy for us to say though, we weren't there". I think it's just human nature and as long as its kept in house and everyone understands that we don't really intend to run our brothers down, it's propbably doing no harm. In fact, to shed a positive light on it, it's probably good that we're interested enough to analyse what went on, and think about how it could be done to achieve a better result. I like the John Fox phrase, I'll be using that one!
I am glad the John Fox phrase helps, I wish I could remember his exact words, it was much more eloquent than I could recite. And you are right MMQB can be a good thing with the reduced number of fires that we all respond to, we have to do our best learn from others fires to increase our knowledge and help us to recognize the same problems when they confront us.

Michael Dombroski said:
You know what? It happens exactly the same the world over. We sit around the mess room table and pick holes in the jobs that went on the night before. Armchair experts we all are. I know its bad, and most of our comments end with someone saying along the lines of "it's easy for us to say though, we weren't there". I think it's just human nature and as long as its kept in house and everyone understands that we don't really intend to run our brothers down, it's propbably doing no harm. In fact, to shed a positive light on it, it's probably good that we're interested enough to analyse what went on, and think about how it could be done to achieve a better result. I like the John Fox phrase, I'll be using that one!
Paul, I jst tried to send you an e-mail and it keeps getting returned as undeliverable. I would like to speak with you for a minute regarding this and maybe new artwork. Please e-mail me at pnorwood@easthavenfire.com

Sincerely,

P.J. Norwood
D.C./training officer
East Haven CT

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