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Preventing Legal Fires 2018 - Year in Review

I always like to review year end legal issues for the fire service, even as I routinely write about them, as an interesting study in firefighter legal behavior over the past year. It is a reflection of where we are and where we are going. The short story is our behavior is not changing as fast as the fire service would like as we still see complaints and litigation popping up every week.

We continue to see patterns of bad legal behavior, in spite of the frequent lectures and articles…

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Added by John K. Murphy on December 11, 2018 at 3:00pm — No Comments

Leadership Lesson #2 - Build Trust First Before Making Changes

This can't be reiterated enough. If your crews don't trust you, the changes you will attempt to make will often get overlooked or even worse completely ignored. Be patient, trust takes time and effort to build and there are two essential steps to building that trust.

The first step is having open discussion about your expectations of your crews and what their expectations are of you. The second step is being consistent in everything you do. These two things, if done well will provide…

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Added by Troy J. Bonfield on December 11, 2018 at 12:19pm — No Comments

Communication Thoughts for Officers

Rank might bring privileges, but it doesn’t necessarily equal leadership. You may have the authority that comes with the badge, however, this does not mean that your subordinates will follow you. The trust and willingness on their part to follow you must be earned. One way to quickly earn trust, and therefore, leadership, is through having good communication skills.

Communication only happens when both parties hear and understand what has been said. Until then, it’s just words being…

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Added by John Lightly on December 6, 2018 at 7:26pm — No Comments

The New Generation

Today in the fire service there are many different barriers that we all face everyday.  Technology, growing scope of responsibility, and life in general are challenges that each and every company officer, chief, and Administrator face when it comes to forming the fire department camaraderie of old.  We often hear the brotherhood is dead, the new generation is lazy, and on and on and on.  The fact is, we can complain (and firefighters will we know) or we can seek out new and innovative ways…

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Added by Jonah Smith on December 5, 2018 at 8:30am — 1 Comment

We lost another

My heart hurts after learning of a fellow firefighter who died by suicide yesterday. This one is especially painful to me because Ron Gebhart didn't want to die by suicide. He recognized the progressive illness that is suicide, and he aggressively sought help, and tried to battle it's relentless power. He attended classes to understand mental health and suicide. He reached out to others for help.

But, sadly, preventing suicide is not as easy as sharing lifeline numbers. Once one has…

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Added by Dena Ali on December 4, 2018 at 8:08pm — No Comments

Save Your Firehouse!

If you want to lose control of your station, your crew and everything you have worked for your entire career, then go ahead and allow a rogue fireman to take control of your firehouse without any regard for your authority or anyone else’s well-being. We all know him. He, or she, is the fireman who shows up for work…

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Added by Mauro Porcelli on November 30, 2018 at 10:17am — No Comments

DO YOUR JOB





Do Your Job! Sounds easy enough, right? However, far too many try to control things outside of their control to the frustration and aggravation of everyone around them. This cartoon, which is inspired by Mark von Appen's Big Four leadership message, is one of many cartoons in our combined 2019 Calendar.



And now, I yield the…

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Added by Paul Combs on November 30, 2018 at 7:56am — No Comments

SMA Dailey's Top 10 to Sergeant Majors applied for the Fire Service

Last week I came across a post on Facebook titled “Dailey’s Top 10 to SGMs, in his own words”. Dailey is Daniel A. Dailey, Sergeant Major of the Army.  For those that do not know, the SGM of the Army is the top enlisted position in the United States Army.  He is a combat infantry veteran, an Army Ranger, and has received numerous awards including the Bronze Star numerous times.  I really enjoyed reading through these and thought they…

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Added by Clay Magee on November 28, 2018 at 1:36pm — No Comments

Do Not Resuscitate Tattoos

As pre-hospital medical providers we see a lot of patients in all sorts of medical disrepair. The public and patients expectation is that we put a full effort into doing the best we can with our limited field resources and either take the patient to a medical facility, leave at home, send the patient to their primary care or specialist physician or call the…

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Added by John K. Murphy on November 24, 2018 at 4:00pm — No Comments

Personal Accountability in Today's Volunteer Fire Service

The Importance of Individual Accountability in the Volunteer Fire Service.

“A different perspective on the issues plaguing volunteer departments”

     Two years ago I set out with a…

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Added by Matt Beakas on November 18, 2018 at 7:20pm — No Comments

BLAH BLAH BLAH!

NEW November Fire Engineering magazine cartoon: Blah Blah Blah!
 
As in politics,…
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Added by Paul Combs on November 15, 2018 at 10:27am — No Comments

Saving Our Own

When we hear the phrase, “saving our own,” many of us probably think about the actions a Rapid Intervention Team may take to rescue Fire/EMS personnel on the fire ground. What I want to focus on in this writing is saving our own off duty.

 

On the job, each of us feels a sense of comfort in knowing one of our crew members has our back. We should feel the same sense of comfort when we are hanging out together or off duty. With the holiday season upon us, many of us will…

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Added by Nick J. Salameh on November 12, 2018 at 12:19pm — No Comments

Writing is Easier than You Think!

White Notes Beside a Pencil on Brown Wooden Surface

These simple steps will guide any student into becoming a better writer and enable them to improve their chances for handing in an exceptional essay that is a reflection of all their hard work:

  1. 1Research your paper thoroughly. Using every resource that is available to you will help you become an expert on your topic. Use the internet, libraries, and databases whatever resource you can find to support your…
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Added by Louise Miller on November 9, 2018 at 8:41am — No Comments

Sound Tactics in Baltimore

Two Person Wearing Protective Gears

An excellent article by Annie Linskey in today's highlights firefighting tactics. The story revolves around the fire reported.

Some highlights:

  • An air horn blasted. It was another warning to evacuate. The men got out so quickly they left their hoses in the tower. Less than a minute later, the church steeple collapsed.
  • It was unlikely that firefighters could have done anything to save the church,…
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Added by Louise Miller on November 9, 2018 at 8:25am — No Comments

Firefighters Not Wearing Protective Equipment

Yellow Hard Hat on Brown and Yellow Fireman's Suit

Never being particularly fond of PPE, my opinion used to be "if it happens, it happens." I've got a booster line, two guys who have been on the job forever and these fires are a dime a dozen. Push comes to shove I spend a little time in the burn unit at MUSC (There's no longer a burn unit).

Then one day, while training at the drill tower with PPE on, an ember went down my back because I wore my collar in much the…

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Added by Louise Miller on November 9, 2018 at 8:22am — No Comments

Creating Instructors

“I think I taught you how to be instructors, but I don’t know if I taught you how to pass the state test.”  This is what I told my class of fire instructor students at the end of the course today. It’s a shame, really, when you think about it.  

For the past number of weeks, I have been pouring my time, mind, and heart into the course, trying to make it informative, relevant, and useful.  I have taught them…

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Added by John Lightly on November 8, 2018 at 7:45pm — No Comments

Fastest Water Wins

Everybody knows you need water to control fire. (And, by “everybody”, I mean firefighters, scientists, politicians, civilians, immigrants, elementary school children, your spouse and kids. Everybody.) That’s why fire apparatus are primarily designed around the need to quickly transport water to the location of a fire, engineered as they are with the capacity to carry a booster tank, hose, pump, appliances, and the personnel needed to put it all to work. It didn’t take a series of high-tech…

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Added by Mark J. Cotter on November 5, 2018 at 9:20am — No Comments

PUCKER UP!

This Tuesday's election, like ALL elections, will have a tremendous impact on local, state, and federal issues that affect your daily life, as well as fire/EMS service operations. Whether you are Right, Left, Tea Party Republican, Blue Dog Democrat, or somewhere in between, exercise your right to make…

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Added by Paul Combs on November 5, 2018 at 8:05am — No Comments

Leadership Lesson #1- Circumstances +or- Attitude = Character

As leaders, how we respond to circumstances is determined by our attitude and is a direct reflection of our character. Put another way, attitude is the bridge between our circumstances and our character. That bridge can be well built with a good attitude or awaiting catastrophic failure with a bad one. 

We should make every attempt to avoid letting our circumstances dictate our attitude.This is easier…

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Added by Troy J. Bonfield on November 2, 2018 at 2:28pm — No Comments

You Can't Scare Firefighters

Fear is a lousy motivator for persons who have joined an organization that routinely confronts danger, especially when, for some, that danger was itself a motivator to join. Now, I am not suggesting that firefighters care less about themselves than your average citizen; just that they generally put the wellbeing of others ahead of themselves. This helps them face hazards that, without such a focus, would cause your average human to turn - if not run - away. Of course, we are also trained and…

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Added by Mark J. Cotter on October 31, 2018 at 10:30pm — No Comments

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