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New UL research: Form your own informed opinions

New analysis coming in the beginning of 2017 from UL Firefighter Safety Research Institute.

That gives us plenty of time to take a deep breath and plan to handle this information appropriately.

Simply, we all need to begin by reading the entire report. The actual report. Not some random Facebook page's analysis of the analysis. Start with the raw material to get a full appreciation for the effort put into providing information for your decision-making. 

Then consider your department, your buildings, your staffing, your equipment. Add layers of your own analysis, form some of your own opinions for how the information will work for you. Not concrete opinions, but just *your* opinions.

Then, let reputable experts' opinions weigh in on your analysis. Senior men, friends from other departments, and yes, maybe even some posts online. Did any of them catch a concept you missed, or a point your crew didn't bring up at the kitchen table?

Above all, move quickly past the keyboard warriors who want to tell you exactly which decisions to make on every fire. They're not out to help shape your opinion; they're out to tell you your opinion. And that's wrong. We're all in this to fight fire, but the variables are many, and those who tell you "always" do this or "never" do that are always setting others up for failure, and sadly may never have an open enough mind to understand this craft is far more complex than they'd like to imagine it is.

So say your goosfrabah, rub your earlobes, and focus on being part of the fire service that enables this report -- still months out -- to be a constructive learning opportunity, and not just the reason for the next pointless flamewar.

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