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Warren Cersley
  • Male
  • Mechanicsville, VA
  • United States
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Warren Cersley posted a blog post

COBWEBS, COWARDS AND COWBOYS

Cobwebs, Cowards and Cowboys“If you never saddled up and entered the arena, your opinion about cowboys lacks matter and merit.” I said that.I had the privilege recently to hear all of the details of what I consider to be a difficult grab. It was shared first-hand with me because I am interested. As I listened to the story, I could feel the heat and I was able to anticipate words like “my training kicked in” and “team effort.” The conversation was most enjoyable and I was left with overwhelming…See More
Jul 3
Warren Cersley posted a blog post

PLAYING HUBCAP

PLAYING HUBCAPI’m thankful for my childhood friends and the lessons we learned together. As I found my way out of high school and into the Fire Department, somehow I ended up hanging out with the same kind of “got your back” kind of special people. I am THANKFUL for every one.When I was young automobile hubcaps had value. They were heavy, expensive and chrome and if you could find the ones that were not skinned up too bad they were worth a few bucks. There was pride in hubcaps.Just for fun,…See More
Apr 10
Warren Cersley posted a blog post

PLAYING DRESS UP

 PLAYING DRESS UPWhile participating in a leadership open forum recently, a fellow panel member told the story of a seminar speaker who engaged him about the responsibilities of his job. After rejecting everything that my friend described as his job as being secondary, the speaker told him that his one job, his sole purpose, was to make the Fire Chief of his department look good.This statement left me frustrated and in disagreement. Although I understood the speaker’s premise, I found myself…See More
Jan 11
Warren Cersley posted a blog post

COMING HOME

COMING HOMEThe World War II veteran was coming home. As he walked over a rise near his family home, one of his sisters saw him and yelled out “Harley is home.” The entire family rushed out to meet him. Harley recalled his Father’s tearful words “maybe now we can learn to sleep again.”  The unrehearsed words of Harley’s Father reminded me of my Father and how he too said so much with so few words, and how their words caused me to feel what they were feeling.I remembered my Father’s words when he…See More
Dec 13, 2016
Warren Cersley posted a blog post

LEADERSHIP ON A DIRT ROAD

 LEADERSHIP ON A DIRT ROAD“There ain’t no bumps in that dirt road.”I say this as a description of Fire Officers who are able to take their situation, their dirt road, and consistently smooth out the bumps, navigate around the mud and continue to advance, and be followed, because of their ability to solve problems with balance, steadiness and common sense, accompanied by their team building skills and their desire to win. You have seen them too.Leadership boiled down to the simplest terms is…See More
Oct 23, 2016
Warren Cersley and Jack Sullivan are now friends
Aug 28, 2016
Warren Cersley posted a blog post

WHAT'S YOUR JOB?

WHAT’S YOUR JOBFirefighting is a team, action oriented job. It requires well trained people who expect action and prepare accordingly. The exceptional ones who stand out and constantly improve their team, regardless of position or rank, stretch out their imaginations and they do the team things that indicate that they care, they give a hoot, they hustle, they want their team to look good and they bring a “go suck an egg” attitude for slackers.I want to be around them, to see them at my fires,…See More
Aug 26, 2016
Warren Cersley posted a blog post

WATCHING INTEREST RATES

WATCHING INTEREST RATESI am a firm believer that Fire Service performance directly correlates with Fire Service leadership.Show me a high performance fire company, a highly regarded firehouse, a stand out fire district or an entire fire department that consistently out performs others and I’ll point out leaders who recognize, care about and manage the interest rate of their group.Whatever happened to the Fire Service leaders who met the Rookie or the fill-in at the door of the firehouse and…See More
Aug 3, 2016
Warren Cersley posted a blog post

CREDIT OR CREDIBILITY?

Credit or Credibility?Each of us will have the opportunity to look back on our career and determine whether we earned credibility or if we fell short of that by wasting time seeking personal credit.I overheard the following conversation a few years ago, as I walked toward a house fire. Veteran Fireman to a Rookie – “the fire is going out now.” Rookie – “what do you mean?” Veteran – “somehow mysteriously when he shows up, the fire goes out.”This perception of one Fireman spoken to another,…See More
Jul 18, 2016
Warren Cersley posted a blog post

MORNING COFFEE

Morning Coffee“Mama wanted me to be a preacher. I told her coachin’ and preachin’ were a lot alike. Paul “Bear” Bryant. (I would add leadin’ too.)Every morning as I step outside and enjoy my first cup of fire house coffee at 5 AM, I give thanks for another day and for the good grace that has allowed us all to go home safely to our families. I have done my one and only job for one more day – sending the people – who serve the people – home safely. We shouldn’t ever take the importance of that…See More
Jul 6, 2016
Warren Cersley posted a blog post

DEVELOPING INSTINCTS

DEVELOPING INSTINCTSFirefighting is an action business; it is not passive or complacent and it requires decisive, action oriented people, with developed instincts.I remember being taught to place the lower leg of a rescued child under my armpit before exiting the fire building. By locking down on the child’s leg, you were less likely to drop the child when the child’s Mother saw you with her child and her instincts took over. I saw this in action several times and a lesson became an action…See More
May 24, 2016
Warren Cersley posted a blog post

STANDING IN THE WAY

STANDING IN THE WAYFor me, as a youngster, the trip to visit relatives on their farm in the Virginia foothills was always exciting. I always thought that my four cousins were so lucky to live in such a special place, where there was never a shortage of exciting things to do. They raised cows and watered them from a claw foot bathtub. Every year they brought cows to the State Fair in Richmond, trying to win 4-H ribbons. I always thought that the Jersey milk cows were the prettiest and on each…See More
May 8, 2016
Warren Cersley posted a blog post

THE ARROGANCE LADDER

THE ARROGANCE LADDERI once worked with a Battalion Chief who would jokingly thumb up his collar trumpets and say “I woke up one morning and there they were.” He always did this in a crowd and usually while looking at himself in a mirror. He would then walk away and leave the people wondering what the intended message was. Since the unwritten rule of that day was that a conversation with an Officer was always initiated by the Officer, no one dared to ask the Chief for clarification.Coming from…See More
Apr 24, 2016
Warren Cersley posted a blog post

WHITE FLAG LEADERSHIP

WHITE FLAG LEADERSHIPLeaders lead.They make no excuses about their inheritance, the crews or the present climate and they do not lead with an attitude of fear and they surround themselves with great people.Leaders don’t carry a white flag, they plan to win.Many years ago, I printed off one of the writings of General George S. Patton. I studied the document again and again, analyzing the words, the intent and meaning of the message. Since General Patton was a uniformed commander and a leader in…See More
Apr 14, 2016
Warren Cersley posted a blog post

THE OLD STUFF

The Old StuffSomeday, in the blink of an eye, it will be the time to look back and to reflect on what you did with your life.If you were chosen to serve, did you serve others well or serve yourself? Did you realize, early on or too late, that serving well requires a few simple steps from each of us who are chosen?Did you keep a run journal of each run, what you were sent for, what you saw, what you did and most importantly what you learned? Were you able to bring sunshine to others when their…See More
Apr 10, 2016
Warren Cersley posted a blog post

WHAT ARE WE REALLY GOOD AT?

WHAT ARE WE REALLY GOOD AT?I’m not big on meetings. I especially dislike meetings that accomplish nothing.Maybe, just maybe, somewhere along the way I got hung up on the belief that the Fire Service was a problem solving organization made up of talented and trustworthy crews instead of a new initiative testing ground. I realized, very early on, that some measure of common sense and balance is required, during a twenty-four hour tour, in order to assure that we perform as well at the emergency…See More
Apr 3, 2016

Profile Information

Lives in:
Mechanicsville, Virginia
Department:
Richmond Virginia Department of Fire and Emergency Services
Title/rank:
Battalion Chief
Years of public service:
41
Agency structure:
Paid fire department
Top issues in your department:
Communications
Generational training issues
Aging fleet
Professional Qualifications:
Supervisory training since 1980
Various National Academy courses
All Hazards course at National Fire Academy
Staff and Command through the University of Maryland
Leadership - the Richmond Way
Topics you provide training for:
Teamwork
Leadership
Morale
Structural Firefighting
Inspirational and Motivational writing.
Areas of expertise:
Structural Firefighting
Fire Department Management
Leadership - Best practices.
NIMS
Bio:
Married with four wonderful children and two grandchildren.
Joined the Richmond department in June of 1974. Advanced through the ranks to my current position of Battalion Chief which I have held since 1986.

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Warren Cersley's Blog

COBWEBS, COWARDS AND COWBOYS

Cobwebs, Cowards and Cowboys

“If you never saddled up and entered the arena, your opinion about cowboys lacks matter and merit.” I said that.

I had the privilege recently to hear all of the details of what I consider to be a difficult grab. It was shared first-hand with me because I am…

Continue

Posted on July 3, 2017 at 11:40am — 1 Comment

PLAYING HUBCAP

PLAYING HUBCAP

I’m thankful for my childhood friends and the lessons we learned together. As I found my way out of high school and into the Fire Department, somehow I ended up hanging out with the same kind of “got your back” kind of special people. I am THANKFUL for every one.

When I…

Continue

Posted on April 10, 2017 at 2:19pm

UPSTAIRS WITH MR. BIBBS

Upstairs with Mr. Bibbs

The cold winds swirled down the cobblestone streets and alleys as if they were always following me, and they caused me to step up my gate and on most dark mornings to hurry past people who seemed better prepared for the elements and in no particular hurry at all.

I could tell that I was poor by the work clothes that I wore and by my shoes that this…

Continue

Posted on February 5, 2017 at 1:35pm

PLAYING DRESS UP

 PLAYING DRESS UP

While participating in a leadership open forum recently, a fellow panel member told the story of a seminar speaker who engaged him about the responsibilities of his job. After rejecting everything that my friend described as his job as being secondary, the speaker told him that his one job, his sole purpose, was to make the Fire Chief of his department look…

Continue

Posted on January 11, 2017 at 11:34am

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At 12:01pm on January 7, 2014, Bobby Halton said…

Warren,

I think you have a great style and I'm so happy that you've continued to contribute your thoughts and wisdom here on fireengineering's community site. Always enjoy reading your thoughts.

Your friend Bobby

 
 
 

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