Everyday firefighters risk something. In the traditional sense, it’s our life, so that we may save the life of another. We risk our health, as we are exposed to hidden carcinogens around the apparatus bay, and on fire scenes. We put our bodies through hell with working shift work, and our emotional health is even worse due to the gruesome scenes we encounter. We do this, because we took an oath to protect people, we have a duty to act. It is why we take risks on a daily basis. But do these risks only pertain directly to the calls for help that we receive daily? There is another arena of risk, that firefighters have the potential to find themselves in. The door to this arena is passed by frontline leaders everyday. On the other side of this door is a bear, a big angry bear. Now, as a leader, you can choose to walk past the door, or you can stop and go in. Inside this door, is the bear, that goes by the name of Injustice. Here comes the true test of a leader. Will you go through this door, and poke the bear? The bear represents many things. It could be a Chief that unfairly goes after your firefighters, the very firefighters that are willing to put their lives on the line for the citizens and yourself. It could be a political machine falsely portraying you and your firefighters as thieves with greedy pensions. What if it is a group of professionals that are the first to the race in research, and try to change a paradigm without offering all of the information, or following the rules of science? Your superiors start to change the way you operate based on data from this group. Tactics that you know to be tried and true, that have saved multiple lives, are now questioned. You are given a suggested replacement tactic, that was born of research that was not fairly compared to the status quo, using inaccurate data, and lacking scientific integrity. Who will take on Injustice, the bear? Will you stand up for your firefighters, even though the bear may tear your limbs off? The bigger question is, would your firefighters stand up to the bear for you? As a leader comes great responsibility, and it has been said many times before, it is lonely at the top. But the answer to the questions is quite clear. Poke the bear! Poke the bear in the name of Justice, you have a duty to act!