This week is Safety Week for the fire service and there will be a lot of slogans and banners posted on the numerous fire service websites. We, as a profession, will blog and instruct on the importance of safety and the initiatives that are part of our fire service culture.
These are all very important and I am not at all implying that these attempts to bring safety to the forefront are not good programs or that the intent is not good.
But, every week this time of year it reminds me of a New Year's Resolution. We all take classes, watch webinars, read blogs and articles and listen to podcasts that follow the theme of the week. It's all good stuff, but by the end of the month, or even next week we have forgotten the message, at least for some anyway.
Safety must be a consistent state of action and awareness, not just a one week theme and catch phrase. Safety is a mind-set and attitude that is present at all times in our profession, not just when something bad happens.
Safety is the ability to pull yourself out of the recliner for just long enough to put one foot in front of the other for at 30 minutes a day consistently.
Safety is the belief that you are never prepared enough and that the worst call of your life is the next one, forcing you to learn and drill on the basics day in and day out.
Safety is knowing and familiarizing yourself with your equipment and becoming intiment with it over and over again.
Safety is understanding your response area and regularly visiting these neigborhoods and paying attention to building layouts when your are in them for events other than fires.
Safety is to have the confidence in your basic skills from repeated drilling to be able to adapt and overcome when the unexpected happens to you or your team member.
Safety is being effecient and effective at deploying and flowing hose lines so that you can be successful during the attack.
Safety is doing the common, mundane, but critically important things at every opportunity. Safety is being proficient from repeated drilling and training without excuses.
The bottom line is that safety comes from consistency in being prepared to the best of your abilities.
Don't slack, don't complain and do the rights things and safety will be present.
Be Engaged every day!