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Mark vonAppen's Blog (27)

A Long History of Short Memories

By: Mark vonAppen



Added by Mark vonAppen on August 27, 2015 at 1:30pm — No Comments

The Long Road

By Mark vonAppen


Most all of us enter into our career in the fire service blind with ideology; thinking that we can master the learning curve and become difference makers.  We seek to augment growth, foster…


Added by Mark vonAppen on June 22, 2015 at 8:23am — No Comments

Crew Expectations



Added by Mark vonAppen on May 18, 2015 at 12:26pm — No Comments

We Don't Need to Whisper

By Mark vonAppen

Let's be real.  After all, that's what this whole Fully Involved idea is predicated on - honesty and trust. Without it, we have nothing. …


Added by Mark vonAppen on May 14, 2015 at 3:30pm — 1 Comment


By: Mark vonAppen

A well-intentioned co-worker took me aside as I…


Added by Mark vonAppen on March 11, 2015 at 8:43am — No Comments


By Mark vonAppen…


Added by Mark vonAppen on February 26, 2015 at 3:00pm — No Comments

Get Smart

There is an ongoing devaluing of the fire problem from within our industry which leads to a lack of education among firefighters.  As individuals and as a culture, we seek the easy fix, the next distraction, or the short answer because we don't have the attention span to sit and read (I'll keep this short, I promise), watch a video, or get out and train. We are losing the ability to walk and…


Added by Mark vonAppen on November 7, 2014 at 12:00pm — No Comments

Be Prepared

The Boy Scout motto is, "Be Prepared".  We admire the people who seemingly can show up and simply figure things out on the fly.  It simply isn't true.  If hope and luck are what you operate on, you are asking for trouble.  Eventually the clock will strike midnight, your engine will turn into a pumpkin, and your…


Added by Mark vonAppen on September 1, 2014 at 5:30pm — No Comments

Morale and Excellence

It is impossible to strive for excellence and forget about the well being of your people. You cannot neglect morale. Morale is a choice in the sense that everyone must work tirelessly to protect it because we all have stake in the well being of the company.  It is particularly important that the leader have a…


Added by Mark vonAppen on August 24, 2014 at 10:00pm — No Comments


We cannot go through our career throwing our hands in the air and giving up when things don't go our way.  Time has a way of rendering jagged edges supple.  It also has a way of softening our perspective, making us less prone to impulsive decisions.  The courage and perseverance that it takes to…

Added by Mark vonAppen on August 8, 2014 at 9:30am — 1 Comment


There is a difference you can find in those who stand apart from the crowd, those people of character who just get it.  The intangible quality that sets them apart is something completely tangible.  It's called a work ethic, and it is the oft forgotten element on the journey to…


Added by Mark vonAppen on July 24, 2014 at 9:25am — No Comments

Talking To Myself

If I could sit down with myself as a new officer and talk about what's important to remember, here is what I'd say.  

This is an excerpt from a speech I wrote…


Added by Mark vonAppen on July 14, 2014 at 6:30am — 1 Comment

The Bottom Line

By Mark vonAppen

In this time of transition in the American Fire Service, due to mass retirements and paradigm shift in how we do business, the unfortunate, and sometimes…


Added by Mark vonAppen on June 27, 2014 at 11:30am — No Comments


By Mark vonAppen

Be careful with the word potential.  It has a misleading connotation.  We often refer to potential as a positive thing, an imaginary upside that exists solely in our minds if only we could tap the…


Added by Mark vonAppen on May 21, 2014 at 8:00am — 1 Comment

Running On Empty

By Mark vonAppen

I've heard it way too often lately, “Dude, I'm…


Added by Mark vonAppen on May 14, 2014 at 7:00am — No Comments

The Difference

By Mark vonAppen

"Our standard of performance on defense is to get 11 men to the football on every play," my father would say as he stood before his players to begin the season.  "We have a standard to uphold, and each one of…


Added by Mark vonAppen on April 15, 2014 at 7:55am — No Comments

Next Man Up

By:  Mark vonAppen 

Working a shift trade on a company that you are not totally familiar with poses some interesting and potentially hand-tying problems.  It also presents an opportunity for growth.

As things were winding down at our last structure fire, a…


Added by Mark vonAppen on February 28, 2014 at 9:22pm — 1 Comment

Daddy's Girl

So, I'm at this BBQ when this guy walks up...

Listing, he points his wine glass at me, “Fireman, right?”



Added by Mark vonAppen on January 23, 2014 at 8:30am — No Comments

Treat People Right

By Mark vonAppen

If you subscribe to this blog, it's no secret to you that I am a bit of a rogue at heart.  I am driven by passion,  I talk to myself,  I have a short fuze, I live for my family, and I live for the craft.  I…


Added by Mark vonAppen on January 13, 2014 at 12:36pm — No Comments

Take It Back

By Mark vonAppen

This will be the year that the rogues come home.

Everyone has a plan until they get hit in the mouth. Our professional…


Added by Mark vonAppen on January 3, 2014 at 9:00am — No Comments

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