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There are exciting things going on in the fire service these days. A lot of what we thought we knew is turning out to be false. I think it's safe to say we have also learned that we still have a lot to learn. The research being done has proven a lot of important facts. Pushing fire isn't possible. Cooling the environment from the exterior is a viable option. Synchronized ventilation and fire attack is critical. Fires are burning hotter and faster. Fortunately now have emperical data to back this stuff up.


All that being said, talk is cheap. We can talk about this new information until we're blue in the face, but it will be meaningless until we bring it to the training ground. If fires are burning hotter and faster, we need to be that much better. The fire is not going to flinch if you wave the statement from ISFSI in its face. I don't say that to criticize the statement, just that we need to actually do the hard work of preparing ourselves.


We need to be better at what we do than we have ever been. The fireground is becoming less and less forgiving. If we have not matched our level of proficiency to the fierceness of the fire we are asking for trouble. To borrow the slogan of Leadership Under Fire, what are you doing to "make yourself harder to kill"? Unless we are stepping up our training, all of this discussion and research will be for nothing.


I urge everyone to study the reports from the research being done. It is crucial to have a comprehensive understanding of what is being done, and what we are learning. Take that knowledge and apply it to your department. Take an honest look at your training program and ability level. If you are still training for yesterdays fire you are going to get burnt. Look outside of your department to see what others are doing. Bring in an outside training company to give your department a boost. Whatever it takes to bring the proficiency level to where it needs to be.


Again, talk is cheap. Let's take what we have learned and put it to work. It's going to take hard work and long hours, but our survival depends on it. Don't let yourself, your coworkers, and your families down. Get going!


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Comment by Eddie Buchanan on November 5, 2013 at 12:38pm

Right on brother.  You'd think someone move the cheese or something, with all of the himming and hawing. That was the inspiration for the position statement.   It's time to put the research into action and do something with it! And it's been pretty interesting watching the resistance to change, or as it appears to me "blind spots" that you see popping up.  Right there, but we just can't see it. 

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