Have you ever been to the zoo and watched the monkeys fling their own poop at each other?
Yeah; some of you already know where this is headed.
The rhetoric has been ratcheting up. The sabers are rattling once again in the fire service on issues of safety, searching and abandoned buildings.
This is where you go back to my opening question and briefly ponder the correlation between monkeys flinging poop and firefighters “discussing” today’s urgent, fire service topics; three that I mention here.
Ironically, before the virtual Hell broke loose, I wrote a blog (http://community.fireengineering.com/profiles/blog/show?id=1219672%...) that a couple of people read and I thought that I made some salient points on respecting others’ points of view.
But, because some bloggers did not choose their topics or their words wisely, they found themselves in that “virtual street fight” that I alluded to in my blog.
With regards to safety, searching and tactics used for abandoned buildings, I have read some very good blogs that offer similar views, as well as opposing views.
My concern is and always has been the impressionable ones who see the vitriol and not the whole picture. The “impressionable” ones are those who look for the smallest shred that will, in their minds, justify their break from sound judgment to one of risky behavior. I think that it creates an almost voyeuristic curiosity to find out for themselves; regardless of the unintended consequences.
In my mind, there has never been the question of “why we search”. Any firefighter worth their salt knows why we search. That is a given, though WHEN to search is not always that obvious. The “not-so-obvious” requires some thought; not much, but some. Is it wrong to give a little more thought to the plan in case Murphy and his law shows up?
The Internet is awash in a sea of those claiming to be “experts”. They can produce a long list of credentials that would lead you to believe that they are the teachers of the teachers. They took their class on the computer and got their degree in the mail; all without stepping foot on the fire ground. At least they know the subject matter, which is more than the outright frauds know.
Fortunately, many of us have been around for a while and know who is and who isn’t. I guess that is where longevity pays off. We have established a resource list that has been built upon verifiable attributes of our personal contacts, as well as trusted intel from friends in the service. Either way; the source is reliable and we can trust the information.
The reason that I mention that is because I agree with many that we must ALWAYS consider the source of our information and it cannot be found in the bloggers’ profile. As I have said before; anyone with a computer and some time on their hands can write a blog.
Anyone can toss out their opinions, but when they are critical of a department’s tactics; rest assured that it will create blow back. At that point, those reading the criticisms have no desire to check the author’s credibility in the fire service. The reader only knows that the writer has no right to look from the outside in at a very personal event within their department and any discussion of the matter will be incendiary.
So; at the proper time, the questions that should be asked and answered will come, but when? When will the discussions of the events that led to an undesirable outcome be an appropriate topic for a discussion forum and especially if there could be potential, life-saving lessons learned?
Do we wait until a national organization such as the IAFC, NVFC, NIOSH, NIST or the IAFF issues a position paper on it?
Or, as some metro departments will do, will they share the findings of an internal investigation?
Even then, will it be with the understanding that some of the tactics that we employ are unique to our geographical locations?
Will we temper that with mitigating factors such as available manpower, training, equipment and type of department, to name a few?
Can we agree that we are not all from the same cookie cutter?
When I was a firefighter; you know, back when you could ride the tailboard, my instructors always told us to take what we could use from the training and use it. That makes perfect sense.
During the past, few weeks, there has been some very good information that has gotten lost in the monkey cage.
If we cannot raise the tenor of the debate to a respectful one, then I’m a monkey’s uncle.
The views and opinions expressed are those of the author, Art Goodrich, who also writes under the name ChiefReason. They do not represent the views and opinions of www.fireengineering.com, Fire Engineering Magazine, PennWell Corporation or his dog, Chopper. Articles written by the author are protected by copyrights.