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Many things are being discussed in our service today. My take on things is a mix I suppose you could say between sides of the fence that the Fire Service has created. We have the "Safety Sallies" in the blue corner and the "Aggressives" in the red corner. I did the groups in specific corners for a reason, if you figure it out wonderful, if not, sorry. Many issues are in the front of our minds right now. Searching of insert name of building type here, proper size hose lines, ventilation, etc. We seem to split down party lines and to me this about the worst thing we could possibly do.

 Here's a novel idea, break down the fence and meet in the middle! Many outstanding and far more intellegent folks tha I, occupy both "camps," so how about instead of "flinging poo" as Chief Goodrich has elluded to in his post and "Sir Lancelot etc" by Dave LeBlanc, both on this sight. If you haven't read them, please do before you finish this. These two gentlemen, who, Dave I know personnally and Art I know through his writing and chatting with, represent the corners. These two guys don't share the same beliefs on some of the issues, yet they are friends, and meet in the middle, in the battleground that has become of Safety vs Aggressiveness.

We all came on this job to be a fireman, to my knowledge no one forced you to get on that engine, truck, or rescue, if someone was forced to come on the job, stop reading now. Being a fireman, is a tough demanding and dangerous job, period! We've come a long way from hanging on the tailboard, trying to pull our boots up, to enclosed cabs, with Seatbelts! Wow, are we good are what? Spare me the butt slapping and back patting we all do, before the job is done. Our job is never going to be done, fires happen, fact and people die, if not for us!  Real quick, if you don't like being referred to as a fireman and would prefer Fighfighter, the touchy feely PC way, just pretend. We have some of the smartest folks in the world working in our profession. IAFF, NFPA, NIOSH, EGH, IAFC,etc, these folks are giving us tools to put in our paperwork toolbox everyday and as firemen and bosses, we need to use them to help keep our members safe. We have hands on training like Brotherhood of Instructors, Vulcan training groups and many other teaching the apparatus toolbox things to make us better firemen, everyday folks!

Novel idea time! Lets use the skills we honed in our apparatus tool box, get the saw, irons, hooks, axes, etc,  to take apart this fence and instead having party lines, like the politicians we all agree we don't like. Let's look together and have civil disscussions and conversations on how to make both toolboxes work together, to better enhance the Fire Service. Leave the fingerpointing and second guessing outside of our circle. We truely as Firemen are better than that. Be mindful of the families of the lost or injured Brothers the next time you feel you need to point a finger at any Brother or Department, it could be you tomorrow.


We are in the greatest Profession in the world, the bond we have with each other has no borders, nor should our professionalism to our citizens, towns, districts, and our country! Be Safe, but all buildings get searched, we say when and if that building is unoccupied.






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Comment by Jason Hoevelmann on January 20, 2011 at 9:09am
NIce job Jeff. There is a middle road and that is following your training and experience. Recognizing the situation that you have been presented with and making an informed decision based on that training and experience will, in most cases, lead us down the right path. The key is that we have to train and those that have more experience need to pass it on down on a daily basis. New lingo and work sheets and separate size-up profiling will not and can not replace fundamental firefighting tactics and decision making.

Kevin, I like your comment too about the gutter.
Comment by Art "Chief Reason" Goodrich on January 20, 2011 at 8:51am


An inspired piece indeed.

The relationship that Dave and I enjoy is special. I won't summarily dismiss anything he says. I look at and consider everything he writes, because he has proven time and again that he has credibility and respect and that comes from his knowledge and experience. He has strong opinions and the courage to express them.

We really don't disagree on that much and we understand that what we say may have an effect on people in the fire service. And our desire to mentor new members coming into the fire service dictates that we don't just throw cavalier statements out there for consumption.

He is thoughtful with his blogs. He is a natural on podcasts.

And if I wait long enough, he might even say something nice about me.

I DO have a safety perspective but not analysis paralysis.

I support efforts to educate the fire service in matters that affect their ability to perform their jobs.

And in some instances, that means safety.

Comment by Kevin Shea on January 19, 2011 at 10:47pm
I think it was Teddy Roosevelt who said too far to the left or too far to the right and you are in the gutter, stay to the middle of the road.
Comment by John Fowler on January 19, 2011 at 5:37pm
Very well said....I wonder since the blues and the reds are already in the corner perhaps we should ring the bell and promote a celebrity death match....that should leave the ones wanting to meet in the middle and compromise.  Just faster than lawyers, arbitration, and waiting.  Great post.  If I knew the call that I was not to come home on, I wouldn't go.  Family is everything.  Training and knowledge helps me notice that time when its near.   Be Safe Brothers.

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