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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 plan, when the dollars flowed freely and operations mattered, used to include slack in the system to absorb the unforeseen and unthinkable.

Not anymore. 

Do we have a plan for a fight gone bad?  At street level, where it really matters, we have to because often the organization, mired in bureaucracy and catch phrases, does not.  We have to create our own plan because no one else will. Is operating without a plan and hoping things will work out for the best any way to do business?  


So, let's dispense with the pleasantries and talk honestly about what is going down.   

We're not waiting anymore.  We won't accept average.  We won't be shackled by fear and ignorance.  We won't ask for permission to to carve time from the day in order to train and make ourselves better and safer.  We will do as we see fit to uphold our obligation to our brothers and sisters in the firehouse and in the community.  

"The insiders are counting on us to be passive.  They're counting wrong.  We're not being polite anymore.  We're at the door and we're taking the craft back for ourselves."  

Aggressive, educated, proactive firefighting that starts with the mindset that every run is the real deal, every structure is occupied, and that we will extend risk (our lives) to effect the rescue of our neighbors.  It is the foundation of a movement to put the fight back in firefighter and bring strong leadership back to the fireground and firehouse.  

Our best insurance policy is a strong base of education and the ability to practically apply knowledge to the appropriate situation.  We have to be functionally intelligent and possess the ability to think on our feet. We must invest in ourselves and be willing to fight for what we believe in.  In order to win the fight, we have to be in the fight.  Being in the fight means doing it on your own and leading from everywhere.

This is not a threat, it's a promise to do our job.  We're not being polite anymore.  We're at the door and we're taking the craft back for ourselves.  The insiders are counting on us to be passive.  They're counting wrong.  If owning our responsibility makes us rogues, then so be it.  

We're the outsiders.  Ready or not, here we come. 

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