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Wayne Zeman's Blog (20)

Old Becomes New, Part two

Old Becomes New- A look at Training Programs

There is a song by the Real McKenzies by that name, and the last verse of the song goes like this;

"And if you hang around long enough,

You'll experience really cool stuff,

You'll see that old becomes new,

Then new becomes old,

Til old becomes new again"

Like Bobby Halton said at FDIC this year, "we are in a time of great change". It seems like the changes are coming at us fast and furious with…

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Added by Wayne Zeman on September 17, 2013 at 1:54pm — No Comments

Aggressive vs. Reckless

Some would say it is a fine line between being an aggressive firefighter and being a reckless one. While that may have some truth to it, I feel that the main difference between the two is knowledge. Knowledge gained through education, experience and judgment.

Education is the first one I will address because it has to come first. We don’t send untrained people out to fight fires, we educate them first. Of course this is done to varying degrees throughout the fire service, whether it…

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Added by Wayne Zeman on September 3, 2013 at 5:38pm — No Comments

Brotherhood all around me!

What is it that you consider Brotherhood? Is it confined to duty hours? Is it all the time, but mainly for your crew or shift? Just your department? Local firefighters that you know?

 

Or does it extend to every firefighter everywhere, career, volunteer, black, white, purple, or not? If not, why in the world not?

Do we not share the same passion, the same vocation? Does fire not burn with the same intensity in Marlboro Mass., Kingsbury IN, Melbourne AU, London, New York,…

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Added by Wayne Zeman on August 26, 2013 at 7:49pm — No Comments

A busy fall and winter ahead.........

I sometimes bite off more than I can chew. We all do that from time to time, but I am wondering if I am a special kind of stupid at the moment!



Not only am I working on my presentation for FDIC 2014 ( I hope it gets approved!) but have taken on teaching an Instructor 1 class this fall.



On top of that, I hope to give my presentation to the IVFA district and the local Chiefs association this fall.



Now it looks like we may hold a recruit academy yet this year too!… Continue

Added by Wayne Zeman on August 13, 2013 at 12:15am — No Comments

Are you engaged in this job?

I was reading an article today about the single biggest problem with America's workforce. Engagement. The author of that story feels that engagement with your job is the worst problem with our workforce. I tend to agree with him.





It is the same for the fire service. The bottom line is engagement. In short, are you innovative and willing to work toward bettering the fire service? are you simply going through the motions? Or are you actively seeking ways to undermine… Continue

Added by Wayne Zeman on July 22, 2013 at 2:46am — No Comments

FDIC 2014 Presentation Proposal....

 

Well, I have just finalized and submitted my proposal for consideration. I have been nervous as I spent the last months or two thinking about, and fleshing out a rough idea I had, which started here as a blog post.

 …

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Added by Wayne Zeman on July 5, 2013 at 9:37am — 4 Comments

Home built apparatus

First off, let me admit something. Over the years, I have operated a number of home built apparatus. I am not going to name departments, or describe the rigs other than to say that some of them were scary as hell, and some were just shy of superb!



I want to discuss here a trend that I see nearly everywhere I have traveled. Departments that otherwise would never utilize a home built piece of apparatus seem to think nothing of slapping together a "brush truck" or "grass rig" with… Continue

Added by Wayne Zeman on June 22, 2013 at 11:59pm — No Comments

Social Media and PR

As more and more folks in the emergency services are using various social media, we need to think about what we are doing with it.

 

I am a user of several different forms of social media but I have a rule. Just one rule, but an important one.

 

Never post anything that you will have difficulty justifying or explaining.

 

Thats it. No more rules have been necessary for me.

 

Unfortunately not everyone has such a good filter on…

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Added by Wayne Zeman on June 4, 2013 at 10:30pm — No Comments

Thinking tactically...............

As I sit here at work, I am reading an article in Fire Engineering about additional alarm considerations.



The author makes some very important points about when to call for additional alarms and why. When I was a shift Captain at a steel mill, I would call for additional alarms anytime I had anything bigger than a dumpster fire. With the extremely limited manpower there, I had to immediately consider what would I do for troops when they inevitably would need rehab. My number one… Continue

Added by Wayne Zeman on June 2, 2013 at 3:48am — No Comments

Life after the fire service..............

.....can you even imagine it? I took a leave of abscence for three months after losing two friends from my department in 1999.



It didn't take long before I had to get back on the truck as they say. Every time I heard the sirens and air horns, I felt that that was where I belonged, on the truck. Not sitting on the porch with a beer. I had to go back.



So I did. It was hard at first, and every time I drove a tanker I was a quivering mess of nerves, fear, and anguish. I… Continue

Added by Wayne Zeman on May 28, 2013 at 1:28am — No Comments

Daily skills training suggestion.......

Ropes and knots? WTF am I bringing that up for!?



Well kiddies, I have been noticing an unfortunate tendency to forget everything we know about ropes and knots once we pass that section in recruit training or FF2 class.



Now, be honest with yourself, if I handed you a piece of rope and asked you to tie a bowline could you? How about a clove hitch?



I might be able to do both of those and a water knot, but that's about it. I am not a little fella, so the likelyhood… Continue

Added by Wayne Zeman on May 12, 2013 at 2:09pm — No Comments

Old becomes new

There is a song by the Real McKenzies by that name, and the last verse of the song goes like this;



"And if you hang around long enough,

You'll experience really cool stuff,

You'll see that old becomes new,

Then new becomes old,

Til old becomes new again"



Like Bobby Halton said at FDIC this year, "we are in a time of great change". It seems like the changes are coming at us fast and furious in building construction, staffing, recruitment, and training… Continue

Added by Wayne Zeman on May 6, 2013 at 2:46am — No Comments

How do we keep letting these things happen??

I am getting to be a bit, well, appalled at all the corruption scandals going on in the fire service.



Lets take the theft of money. It seems like every couple of days there is a new story about some VFD Treasurer dipping into the departments funds to go gambling, pay their mortgage or just spend on whatever. WTFO?



What really boggles the mind is how long they have been doing it in some cases. When they are robbing you blind for years in a row, how do you explain that to… Continue

Added by Wayne Zeman on April 8, 2013 at 12:39am — 2 Comments

What the heck are we teaching??

Hello? Is anyone listening?

I have been worrying a bit lately. About training. I know, I know, thats all the training officer EVER worries about!

But follow me on this one guys. Are we really keeping up with the times? When we teach building construction at our recruit academies, are we still talking about balloon construction and bowstring trusses? Lathe and plaster? Or are we teaching about the current building methods and practices?

A mix of…

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Added by Wayne Zeman on April 1, 2013 at 12:54am — 4 Comments

Riding with Gary FD Squad 2........

 

I remember going to an accident with the Squad in Engine 13's area, because they were on scene when we got there and helping to extricate someone by minding the hoses for the guy on the jaws of life.

There were a few other calls that I went to riding in the passenger seat of HIT 2 but nothing memorable. Then,…
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Added by Wayne Zeman on October 24, 2012 at 1:30am — No Comments

Memories of riding with the Gary FD in the early 90's........

I am not really sure what brought this up in my head, but there it was. I thought you guys might like to hear the stories.........

It was 1993 or so. I was a VERY wet behind the ears young firefighter on a small volunteer fire department. Back then, the City of Gary Indiana Fire Department allowed ride alongs, as long as you signed a waiver and provided your own gear and SCBA. I signed the waiver, got permission from my Chief, and started to ride.

The first few…

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Added by Wayne Zeman on October 22, 2012 at 1:51am — No Comments

The Tragic Impact

From Saturday, June 5, 2010

I was sitting home the other day when we get paged out for an attempted suicide about a mile from the station. As we get enroute, dispatch fills us in on what waits for us at the scene. A 17 year old female has shot…
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Added by Wayne Zeman on May 2, 2012 at 7:19pm — No Comments

The snow falls........

The snow falls, pristine and white.

As a Mother goes to wake her now grown son, he is 18 and a high school senior.

He won't answer her calls to get up before he is late to school.

The snow falls. It covers the roads, a perfect blanket.

A blanket. Mom pulls back the blanket covering her son. He doesn't stir. She touches his shoulder, about to shake him to wake him.

The snow falls. Big fluffy flakes glisten in the morning…

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Added by Wayne Zeman on March 11, 2012 at 2:47pm — No Comments

Ice Rescue Training FAIL!

Well, we did our ice rescue training a few weekends ago.

 

It was the usual rehash of what we do and say every year, a good refresher for everyone before the annual ice fishing derby the next weekend so we are ready with the know how fresh in our heads.

 …

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Added by Wayne Zeman on February 25, 2011 at 6:28pm — 1 Comment

Too Late to stop, Too early to quit!

Too late to stop, too early to quit.



What does that mean?



To me it means I have been doing this job to long to stop. It has become a part of who I am. It is more than just something I do. It is a part of me the same as my right hand; I can’t imagine life without it. For the years I was blessed enough to make a living doing this job I was the…

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Added by Wayne Zeman on February 15, 2011 at 11:02am — 8 Comments

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