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Scott Ferguson's Blog (14)

More Than Wild Hogs - Rest in Peace, Malibu

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…


Added by Scott Ferguson on June 15, 2019 at 12:00pm — No Comments

It’s Time to Redefine What it Means to Be Strong AXEMEN: Finding Blue Skies

If the ingredients necessary for a firefighter to maintain a healthy mind, body and spirit were listed on the side of a box full of answers, the words “maintain balance” would be underscored and printed in bold letters. The recipe would likely include a trusted employee assistance program (EAP), mentors, confidants, training, a relevant book list, and lots of prayer. Regardless of the rations, by some measure, the heart of a successful outcome would have to…


Added by Scott Ferguson on September 22, 2018 at 9:30am — No Comments

Keep Talking - I’m Analyzing You

So, what exactly does a firefighter look like? How should they act? What skills should they be able to master? How big and strong should they be? Are firefighters supposed to be more mechanically inclined or fluid with their words? Should they be creative or analytical? Is it essential that they be self-aware or is it more important that they are interpersonal? Are they nimble minded and quick to reply, or do they process information more slowly before providing a response?



Added by Scott Ferguson on July 3, 2018 at 10:22pm — No Comments

The Sign Says “Rerack Your Weights”

Not every post has to be deep; some just require common sense.

While working out at the local gym a few weeks ago, I noticed a young woman walking around wiping down equipment, stripping weights, and putting away dumbbells that were left scattered around from the night…


Added by Scott Ferguson on June 26, 2018 at 10:30am — No Comments

Cats in the Cradle

For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

In 1974, Harry Chapin released a song entitled Cats in The Cradle; it was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance. I was only 13 years old, and probably more interested in the Eagles and Chicago than a ballad singer, but I remember the lyrics had an impact on me then, as they still do today. The story centers…


Added by Scott Ferguson on June 19, 2018 at 12:30pm — No Comments

Maybe Average Really Can Be Awsome

Movies celebrating great teams that have overcome adversity to become hugely successful are awesome. Leadership books that summarize their most prominent themes at the end of each chapter are awesome. Guest speakers that tell a story of how they rose from the ashes to become masters of their craft…are awesome. Fire departments that are rich with resources, staff, equipment, and are quick to share their innovative training tools and techniques – you guessed it –…


Added by Scott Ferguson on June 6, 2018 at 5:30pm — No Comments

The Art of Accountability: Sometimes You Just Have to Cut Off the Head of a Concubine

One of the more difficult challenges a firehouse leader is faced with, is dealing with an employee that has seemingly replaced their passion, motivation, and commitment to serve, with an equal commitment to be a royal pain in the buttocks. You know who I’m referring to: it is the person that, as a recruit, once sat across an oral board panel with a suit, tie, and twinkle in their eye, promising to embrace “the mission.” They were the candidate that once…


Added by Scott Ferguson on May 24, 2018 at 3:00pm — 1 Comment

What hill would you be willing to die on?

Apparently, its origin is debated, but the implication of "a hill that one is willing to die on" is a goal, principle, or cause that one believes so deeply in that they are willing to make a great sacrifice on its behalf. It’s a warning that the struggle you’re facing could cost you everything—maybe not literally your life, but your job, or a friendship, or something else you can’t get back.

Decisions on whether to fight could be very practical and easy to explain, or they may be very…


Added by Scott Ferguson on May 15, 2018 at 7:00pm — No Comments

Take Command of Your Personnel Problems

The firefighters that make a job the most fun to come to work are often the same people that drive you so bat crazy that the trip home each day seems like a summer vacation. Fortunately, the same familiar tools used for taking command of a fire scene can effectively be used in managing personnel issues before they grow to be unmanageable.…


Added by Scott Ferguson on May 7, 2018 at 6:30am — No Comments

The Richest Men and Women in Town

Sometimes, the best advice can come from a Walmart greeter…

A few years ago, a relatively modest looking package arrived at the front desk of the Fire Department’s administrative office. As promised, a friend left a copy of a book entitled, The Richest Man in Town, written by V. J. Smith. Sandwiched within its glossy hard cover was an inscription that read, “Thanks for the great round of golf—Lloyd Torgerson – St. Monica.”

Every once in a…


Added by Scott Ferguson on April 30, 2018 at 6:30am — No Comments

Reputation Porn – Don't Be Afraid to Bare It All

His best friend’s wife likes to flirt with Sean. His best friend seems to enjoy her flirting….

My day, like so many others, begins in the dark, quietly donning a pair of frumpy sweats, untied sneakers, and a baseball cap to cover what’s left of my hair. With a gentle kiss on my wife’s lips and rub on the dog’s belly – I’m careful not to confuse the two – I begin the journey to locate my…


Added by Scott Ferguson on April 23, 2018 at 6:00am — No Comments

CRAZY LABELS: What would your shirt say?

I'm Doing My Best Not To Slug You Right Now

A little over a decade ago, I was sitting in a college lecture hall flipping through the pages of a text that had just been introduced to the class. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) is a tool published by the American Psychiatric Association (AP…


Added by Scott Ferguson on April 15, 2018 at 8:30am — No Comments

An Old Pick-up Truck and a Hound Dog

“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.

Dr. King’s quote seems acutely applicable to our extended fire service families.  It takes a little pain to determine who will stand next you; who will shed a tear with you; who will dig in their pockets for you; who will go to bat for you; or, sometimes, who will hold you…


Added by Scott Ferguson on April 5, 2018 at 1:30pm — No Comments

When the Final Season is About to End

ESPN reflects on the life of professional baseball player, Ichiro Suzuki; and how his time in the big leagues has come to define more than his legacy as an athlete; it has become an escape that may soon fade away.


Last week, I spent some time dragging on a good cigar outside a small establishment where there were an number of people striding up and down the street looking for a burger, beer, and a NCAA tournament game to celebrate the end of a good…


Added by Scott Ferguson on March 29, 2018 at 12:00pm — 1 Comment

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