PUT A TAG ON IT
The Fire Service as a whole and we who are fortunate to be a part of it need triage. In our day to day we seem sometimes unwilling to exercise the same honest, thorough, open and sometimes painful assessment that we use in a mass casualty incident.
Whether in prevention, service delivery, leadership, training, team dynamics, morale, community assessment of…Continue
Added by Warren Cersley on December 8, 2014 at 10:03am — No Comments
Take a Moment
As I write and I travel to talk and teach across this great country, I am humbled and honored by the feedback and comments that I receive. The comments that always hit home for me are from people who comment that they felt as if we were sitting around the firehouse coffee table just having a chat.…Continue
Added by Warren Cersley on December 1, 2014 at 5:05pm — No Comments
When I read, almost daily, about failed leadership in the Fire Service I have to wonder how the troubled leaders came to be and how they expected to be successful with no apparent understanding of principled leadership. How do the failed leaders who make the headlines exist with such an obvious lack of leadership instinct, leadership senses, positive leadership abilities, planning skills, some…Continue
Added by Warren Cersley on October 5, 2014 at 10:11am — No Comments
What moves you?
Sometimes our most memorable moments are of occurrences from years now past. Our memory holds on to those special moments because the moment moved us in some special way. Many of the lessons that would serve me well in the fire service were learned long before my career began.…Continue
Added by Warren Cersley on August 18, 2014 at 3:10pm — No Comments
As I wind down my career in the best calling and the best profession that I could have hoped for, I constantly count my blessings. This week was no exception and I so enjoyed myself. What a GREAT week!!!
This week, I and our MDA boot drive kickoff team had the privilege of visiting all of our department members, the BIG team, on three shifts, a total of…Continue
Added by Warren Cersley on June 28, 2014 at 9:34am — No Comments
When we think about teaching young people in the Fire Service and preparing them for what is ahead, we need to remember where WE came from, and the people who taught us. Leaders, formal or informal, should invest less time whining about what young people don’t know and more time on what you can teach them. Everyone has experiences and knowledge to share.
I get so…Continue
The red phone rang at the fire station with orders from the Fire Chief’s office. A tractor trailer had overturned on interstate 95 and cattle had escaped and were running on the highway and throughout the nearby neighborhoods. The State Police had requested that Lewis “Cowboy” Tunstall respond to round up the cattle.
Cowboy Tunstall was a Lieutenant in our department. He was a farrier…Continue
Added by Warren Cersley on April 7, 2014 at 8:44am — No Comments
Back in the day we pumped gasoline for customers, washed their windshields and offered to check under the hood for them. We had a mechanic who actually repaired cars, air was free and we were called a service station.
Fire houses were community hubs, meeting places and service…Continue
Added by Warren Cersley on March 28, 2014 at 9:46am — No Comments
Me No Hable
Ours is a beautiful country with a beautiful language that is made even more beautiful and rich by our different accents and dialects. Even within each state, our speech and language is flavored with our varied regional influences. I like it when people try to guess where I am from, based upon my speech.…Continue
Added by Warren Cersley on March 20, 2014 at 9:04am — No Comments
FIRE TRUCKS AND TRAINS
The “Triple Cross” is in Richmond, Virginia. It is said to be the only place in the United States of America and possibly the world where three Class 1 railroads cross at different levels over the same spot.
Near the “Triple Cross” stands Main Street Station, the…Continue
Added by Warren Cersley on March 8, 2014 at 4:09pm — No Comments
Appointed or Anointed?
I have had the honor of serving as a Chief Officer for nearly twenty-eight years. I have seen a few things and I have been around the block a couple of times. I may be different from some because I believe that I was appointed but never anointed.
I recall a Captain opening my office door and advising me that a Battalion Chief from FDNY was in the…Continue
Protect the steps.
One of the most important lessons I learned from my first Captain was to protect the steps.
Whether we went upstairs to get a burning mattress in a brick apartment, or to perform search and fire attack in a two story house, Captain Mac would never allow a staff meeting…Continue
Added by Warren Cersley on February 15, 2014 at 11:01am — No Comments
FIRE DEPARTMENT AUTO SALES
My friend told me the story of his visit to a local auto dealership. He was considering purchasing a new pickup truck and a larger flatbed truck for his growing business.
He chose to visit this dealership based partly on the large amount of television and radio…Continue
Added by Warren Cersley on February 7, 2014 at 12:23pm — No Comments
STUCK ON SMALL
What became of Fire Service leaders who were innovative problem solvers? Their big coat pockets were full of common sense and they pulled the trigger on problems. Isn’t that what we came here to do?
Large leaders are out there, probably closer than we know. Look for them; look at them, look like them. Don’t fall into the morale trap.…Continue
GET THE BATS
In my youth, baseball was the only game in town. The fields were built and maintained by caring parents. Umpires and coaches volunteered their time and each kid learned how to handle a rake and to pick up rocks.
Since my Dad and my older brother were left handed pitchers, with high leg kicks and wicked curve balls, someone had to catch. So it was that I put on…Continue
Added by Warren Cersley on January 19, 2014 at 11:22am — No Comments
WHEN IT’S GO TIME
I was asked to write this account some time ago for the benefit of young people and I have honestly found it difficult to write. The difficulty in telling the story comes from my wish to teach and to make IN THESE BOOTS about the learning and never about me. I’ll focus on that and share some of my random thoughts on go time.
Readiness in the Fire Service…Continue
Added by Warren Cersley on January 7, 2014 at 7:39am — No Comments
SEARCHING FOR THE WIZARD
Sometimes in life we spend an inordinate amount of our time searching for the wizard; that something or someone in our life or our work that we hope will provide us with that something or that everything that we feel we need to go on, to be successful, to become a part of the team, to score, to win, to get home.
I think I can, I wish I had, I do…Continue
We’re coming for you.
“The Mayday – Firefighter Down training for tomorrow is cancelled by the Captain, no reason given.”
Such was the similar message of April 14, 1912 when Captain Edward Smith of RMS Titanic cancelled the life boat drill. At 1140 PM that same day, Titanic struck an…Continue
A place at the table
Some years ago, I worked on a family farm. The people I worked for treated me like a part of their family, even though I was only distantly related by marriage. Every morning before sunrise everyone would meet at the farm house and enjoy a large breakfast. The same applied during hunting season.
When my personal life came on a very rough time, I remember not wanting the family to feel uncomfortable or to put them in a bad predicament with my presence in…Continue