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The Fire Service as a whole and we who are fortunate to be a part of it need triage. In our day to day we seem sometimes unwilling to exercise the same honest, thorough, open and sometimes painful assessment that we use in a mass casualty incident.

Whether in prevention, service delivery, leadership, training, team dynamics, morale, community assessment of service delivery, internal customer service or personal performance we need to tuck our sensitive feelings away long enough to assess ourselves and to put a tag on it.

People who occupy leadership positions and yet fail to lead seem to have forgotten triage and its simplicity and effectiveness. If they analyze and assess at all they seem to have forgotten Red, Yellow, Green and Black and their leadership is dead before arrival.

Honest, thorough, open and sometimes painful is where I came from in life and in my fire service career. My leaders grabbed the bull by the horns, they were out front and they realized that my future and my success as a part of their beloved team could not and would not be watered down or diluted to make me feel better. I so appreciate their leadership and their honesty and I always got over the pain and learned from it.

I see too many Fuchsia, Mauve, Chartreuse and Azure leaders today. Our service to the public and our young people who provide it deserve so much more. Stand for something or move over, you’re in their way.  That’s a red card in soccer.

Beat up, beat down, stepped on, stepped over, ignored, neglected, maligned, underappreciated and tired of being tired are the tags I would place on far too many of the young people who share their thoughts and feelings with me. Why do they find me approachable while their leaders are not? In a team oriented service with life and death as the ultimate outcomes I find this unacceptable and a failure of leadership. Put a tag on that.

I so enjoy speaking, writing, listening and sharing and learning from our future fire service leaders and I greatly value their honest triage of me and my work. I hope that they will never give up or give out and that they will triage the good, the bad and the ugly of leadership and realize that listening leaders last and those who don’t - won’t.

Your leadership home run from yesterday means nothing today.

I don’t like leadership retreats – retreat means to back up.

Are you accumulating numbers of projects and initiatives or succeeding at the important ones?

People might not always like where you stand but they will appreciate that you take a stand.

Do you get a red, yellow or green card today? It’s important. You decide.

Thanks for reading and sharing.

Have a great day – it’s a GREAT day for it.

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