Yes, I am going to go down this road after not writing in quite some time. I am utterly disgusted with articles and bantering I have read on social media these past few weeks. I have also been made aware of childish acts to gain attention that certain "so-called" leaders in the fire service (as they call themselves) viscously react in a manner against the very own words they wrote about themselves in their published books.
Precision is being on point based on facts, and what brought me here is the fact that we as fire service leaders are executing stupid debates over who's bugles are shinier, who's done it better, and who's extinguishment tactics are better. In 2016, I have witnessed many challenging projects that incorporated the changes and needs IAW the changing world! Thats right folks, the cultural change of today and tomorrow. Yesterday's fires, confined space rescues, trench collapses, apparatus changes, equipment specifications, and the needs of business models have been the driving force for the changes and re-writes in many laws and guidelines that we must reference. That's right folks, I said the past!
While I am a firm believer that training, education, and experience is key for the survival of the fittest, EVEY single fire department is different in the types of fires and emergencies they face. The debate over science and fire attack is beginning to strike the box, igniting my last nerve. I really do not care where you are from or who you are...In fact I do not care if you have worked in one of the greatest fire departments in the country that sends hundreds of firemen to a box alarm. I have been to hundreds of fires myself, witnessed fireman being burned, created parking lots for tomorrows business, and the FACT is that no single fire burned the way the last one did. The last time I checked, NIST wasn't conducting scientific burns in a 3 story, stone farmhouse, in the middle of a 25 acre plot with 65 mph winds gusting.
There are many folks...(I will use leaders loosely after articles I have read), that are demanding that certain tactics be scared upon our future firefighters and leaders, bringing the reality of the job to a hiding place that no incident commander wants to deal with.
Now, we have a lot of good people out there doing good things, and teaching great techniques for tactical use and execution of fire attack. Instead of bashing, ranting, and believing in (1) thing, open up your mind and hit the refresh button on your knowledge for the future of our service.
I hope that someday we can all come together and put it ALL down on paper instead of working against each other to figure out who did it right! Quite honestly, I am tired of picking up the broken pieces of the past!
Here is my simple rule as an incident commander and firefighter! Whether or not you do this from the inside or outside, you can't go wrong. You will not respond to a fire that burns the same every time...! Personnel safety is key, and if you are the incident commander, never second guess your gut instinct!
Locate the Fire
Contain the Fire
Extinguish the Fire
There is a lot of good going on in today's fire service, but there is no blanket approach to our profession!
Assistant Fire Chief
Picatinny Arsenal Fire and Emergency Services