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.
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!