There were a few original Hump Day SOS's that only appeared on my Twitter and Facebook pages. A few were posted on Urban Firefighter prior to this blog. They were simply pictures with no commentary. For the next few weeks I'm going to go back repost them here on FE along with added blog text. The intent here at the Hump Day SOS is to provide a somewhat satirical look at ourselves and sometimes just point out the obvious. It is also confirmation for many of you that you are not alone in your thinking and doing. For those who missed these I hope you find them enlightening and for those of you who already saw them I hope you enjoy the new commentary and hopefully have another chuckle. Please print and hang in the bathroom!
SAFETY SAFETY SAFETY it’s all the rage. But what does it mean? Some have taken the safety train to a point in which they are so obsessed with the perception of safety that they actually make things less safe. There is nothing wrong with truly doing everything possible to make our profession as safe as possible but we must understand that one of the things that makes us "safer" than anything else is competence in our skills, tactics and command. Believe it or not we can actually respond to, assess, and mitigate risk better than most any profession given similar types of work. Being able to assess a situation and apply tactics that eliminate the hazard makes things safe! Everyone agrees that when the fire goes out things are "safer". The nozzle is one of the most effective deliverers of "safety" that we have on the scene. The longer we delay the nozzle operation the higher the level of risk to the occupants and us! Small incipient stage fires are sometimes allowed to become raging two or three room fires with attic involvement while we are waiting for all the "safety" items to be gathered, checked off on the check list and approved by a command officer who is still responding and yet to reach the scene. Do we need procedure? Yes. Do we need be as safe as possible? Yes. Can we ever eliminate all risk? No. Do we need to allow some common sense on the fire ground? Yes.
The competence of a crew to get the 1st line in place quickly and apply “liquid safety” to the fire will make things "safer" than all the safety officers in world can ever accomplish on the fire ground. Don't get me wrong, I'm not anti-safety officer, I just think that we need to keep things in perspective and understand what actually allows us to create real safety on the fire ground. It seems the less we focus on the trade of firefighting and the hands on skills that accomplish extinguishment, the more safety officers and rules we need to keep us safe!