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When it comes to safety, sometimes we are no better than a group of chickens clucking, scratching, and scurrying about the barn yard! We say all the right things about safety, complain about the lack of safety, and will even criticize and chastise others when things go wrong - but are you courageous enough to stand up for what's right when the time comes? Have you ever looked the other way because you didn't want to call someone out or embarrass a buddy?

Perhaps it's time to shut up and put up. Read, learn, and put safety measures into practice that will ensure, as best as we can, that we all go home without enjury. The fireground and apparatus operations will never be 100% risk free, but we can do a helluvah lot to increase our odds.

So, what's it going to be? Are you going to take action or just cluck away?

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Comment by Art "Chief Reason" Goodrich on January 18, 2014 at 11:05am

Paul:

Unfortunately, many in the fire service operates on the notion that there's "too much safety" being pushed. Arguments such as it causes hesitation and increases risk to the firefighters, that it hurts our mission as public servants, that the fire service has become sissified and that it is expected that risks be taken. There are those who despise "risk vs. benefit", victim survivability studies and people who promote Everyone Goes Home are Chicken Littles.

Ultimately, safety rests with each and every firefighter. Best practice has to temper decisions. And there has to be a methodical approach to controlling unsafe behavior. Is it unsafe equipment killing firefighters? Nope. It's unsafe behavior; whether it's food choices or bad choices at an incident. Even though firefighters believe that the final decision on "go/no go" should rest with them; history demands that strong leaders have to control certain impulses in their team members.

As always, I could be wrong.

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