The fire service has been described as paramilitary organization with a leadership organized in a top down fashion. In other words, one person does the thinking, one person directs the organization and one person takes responsibility. Is that right? Is that how your organization operates?
I was stimulated to author this article based on the belief that we can lead and manage better if we involve all of the personnel…Continue
Added by John K. Murphy on June 24, 2019 at 4:30pm — No Comments
Added by Paul Combs on June 19, 2019 at 8:08am — No Comments
The Axemen lost another brother.
A few months ago, I shared a post about the importance of maintaining some kind of balance between the rigors of being a firefighter and whatever else it takes to put a smile on your face. Such a conversation usually starts with family, extends to a few golf strokes, an annual vacation, or maybe just hanging out with a pack of buddies at the local McDonalds, telling lies about the good ‘ole days.
At the time, David (Professor) and I were fresh…Continue
Added by Scott Ferguson on June 15, 2019 at 12:00pm — No Comments
I recently heard this statement in a podcast by Stephen Mansfield. Though I’ve heard variations of it in other places, the way he said it made me stop mowing the lawn and pay closer attention.
It’s a simple statement, yet it’s packed with reality. The point of it is that life can be a struggle, success hinges on how you face up to those struggles.
We teach our kids from their earliest moments this lesson. When a baby is first learning to walk and keeps falling,…Continue
Added by John Lightly on June 15, 2019 at 10:11am — No Comments
The inventor, thinker, genius, mathematician and all around smart guy, Albert Einstein once said, “the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” I think he was right. We worked the same way for a long time (the first 270 years or so) and injuries and LODDs became part and parcel to our service. We thought that simply doing it “over and over again” the same way and thinking it would change all by itself, would work. It didn’t. However…Continue
Added by RON KANTERMAN on June 12, 2019 at 8:03am — No Comments
My training and tools side hustle receives a fair share of inquiries regarding “vetting” new tools. These typically come from the company themselves, direct to us, for review. What intrigued me as a Truck Co. firefighter after seeing The CHAR tool was that this could be the first vertical firefighter self-rescue tool. As a massive fan of the pompier ladder, I had to get my hands on this.
This one I solicited for. I wanted this…Continue
Added by John Buttrick on June 9, 2019 at 2:00pm — No Comments
Anyone who has seen the HBO Mini-Series “Band of Brothers” knows who Major Richard Winters is. The leader of Easy Company, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment states in his book, “Beyond Band of Brothers” that, “Having selected the right men for the job, I then delegated the authority to my subordinates and allowed them to use their initiative to execute the mission. There is no need to tell someone how to do his job if you have properly trained your…Continue
I would think it’s safe to say that practically every truck company in the US carries a K-12, whether Partner, Stihl, or Husqvarna. Departments without dedicated trucks often carry these versatile saws on their engines. Obviously we also find them on squads and heavy rescue companies.
They are a great tool to have and if you’re lucky you have at least two. There’s a lot that can be…Continue
Added by Clay Magee on June 4, 2019 at 3:22pm — No Comments
A Letter to America's Fire Officers
Dear America's Fire Officers,
We the American firefighter need you.
We need you to set the example.
We need you to be competent.
We need you to be ready.
We need you to set the example.
We need you to be in shape.
We need you to not shirk responsibility.
We need you to put your gear on...always.
We need you…Continue
Added by Andrew Zysk on June 3, 2019 at 10:33am — No Comments
I read something the other day about a firefighter suicide that got under my skin. It said, "we need to do something, because what we are doing is not working."
While we will never be able to prevent or stop all suicides, we are making a difference.
Sadly, it's a difference that we will rarely quantify because sometimes, we rarely know the difference we make in the lives of others.
I know I have been in dark places, and all it took was a smile…Continue
Added by Dena Ali on June 2, 2019 at 7:45pm — No Comments
A mentor once told me “Good things are hard but hard things are great.” It always stuck with me, sadly though he passed away before I could put his great mentorship and guidance to use. I often think of him in a lot of my daily interactions and regret losing touch as my career took me on a new path. I share this because I feel his message warrants a larger stage, so with that I’ll keep this as short and to the point as I can.
When you’ve failed a test, missed out on a career,…Continue
Added by Dave McGlynn on May 26, 2019 at 6:00pm — No Comments
In 2017 103 firefighters committed suicide. That is 103 families torn apart with very few answers hoping to turn back time just enough to have an impact on these tired souls that made the decision to end their life on their own terms. First responders are five times more likely to suffer from depression and PTSD compared to the general population. The International Association of Firefighters (IAFF) takes these numbers extremely seriously and has begun implementing phenomenal resources to…Continue
Added by Ben Dubin on May 23, 2019 at 6:47pm — No Comments
Where has the passion gone? In my personal experience with life in general, we have become a self-centered population. Everything is about “me” and the fire service has seemingly become no different, many places are putting “we” first instead of “them”. It is true that many people just don’t seem to have the desire or the passion for the job that at one time they did, some never had it at all. This job will take a lot from you... and, yes, there will be times that it will take everything you…Continue
Added by Andrew Hieronimus on May 23, 2019 at 3:02pm — No Comments
The popular HBO series, Game of Thrones, provides a fun parody on the vicious firehouse backstabbing and culture of relentlessly second guessing the decisions made by others. It all seems so easy, until you're sitting on the Throne of Command.
STAY FIRED UP, and look outside of your own perspective before criticizing…
Added by Paul Combs on May 23, 2019 at 7:38am — No Comments
Culture, does it mean something to your organization or is it just a soft buzzword that gets thrown around at staff meetings and in emails? My point behind the post was simply this, many organizations seeking change for the better should stop and examine the culture within.
It should be no big secret to anyone reading…Continue
Added by George McNeil on May 21, 2019 at 5:56pm — No Comments
Firеfighting iѕ оnе оf thе wоrld’ѕ greatest occupations, yet, аbоut one of thе mоѕt dаngеrоuѕ and ѕtrеѕѕful job in thе wоrld. Eасh day аnd night, we рlасе ourѕеlvеѕ in harm’s way to come to the rеѕсuе of those whо are mostly in lifе-thrеаtеning diѕаѕtеrѕ. First rеѕроndеrѕ ѕuсh аѕ firеfightеrѕ are еxроѕеd tо trаumа as a nаturаl and unаvоidаblе раrt оf our dаilу routine.
Added by Mark W Lamplugh Jr on May 21, 2019 at 9:09am — No Comments
One of the issues facing fire service leadership is when to call an experienced attorney to assist the department in mitigating a problematic legal issue in their department. Every fire department chief has interacted with an attorney on a routine rather than emergent legal issues facing the department. Those range from labor contracts, policy creation, purchasing fire apparatus or firefighter safety gear, acquiring property and building new station to working on complex legal issues of…Continue
Added by John K. Murphy on May 19, 2019 at 4:00pm — No Comments
My apologies to any of my readers who are not comic book geeks like me, and may not understand this cartoon's Avengers Infinity War/Endgame reference. But to those who are, you understand the magnitude of the "snap." In this case, using the bad leadership traits (stones) for ill-will or for your own twisted sense of reality.
It only takes one…
Added by Paul Combs on May 17, 2019 at 2:10pm — No Comments
I recently viewed a video of a warehouse fire that reminded me of how frequently I see fire departments applying residential structure fire tactics to warehouse size fires. I often wonder what the root cause of operating this way is. Is it due to a lack of knowledge, improper training, lack of preplanning and underestimating the resources required, department culture, complacency, habitual operations of doing the same thing for every fire call, or simply a…Continue
Added by Nick J. Salameh on May 16, 2019 at 2:27pm — No Comments