This is great advice for firefighters. This could be during a response while driving, it could be operating exterior at a collapse situation, it could be interior for signs of hostile fire conditions.
But today I am talking about non fire situations. We as fire service prfessionals should be like the wise old owl with their head on a swivel. We should be watching many, many things.
Look around at our crew. Are we the best we can be? Does someone appear to be “off” suffering from personal problems or issues?
Look around for positive actions from the superiors. Watch out and catch your troops doing something right.
Watch out for the political climate in your community. Watch out for the slipping of public support.
Watch out for each and every learning situation and teachable moments. Sometimes these maybe routine things in every day life that you could take a lesson and apply it to your situation in the fire service. I have made teachable moments from eating in a restaurant, to a song playing on the radio. Sometimes even the most routine or mundane things can trigger a thought that makes a difference.
Watch out for the ability to improve yourself.
Look in the mirror often. Not to promote your ego or self importance but take the time for honest self reflection.
Remember when someone yells watch out, you should duck, run, throw water, or do something! You see it is natural to take some action. Thensame goes in a non emergency situation. Ifnyounsee something, DO SOMETHING! Take an action always, but think first.
Think about these things, and maybe the next time someone yells Watch Out!, you will already have them beat because your have been watching all along!
This week in the Podcast we spoke of three historical fires. I cannot stress the importance of reviewing these fires in detail with our troops. I have had a passion for studying these LODD incidents for years. There are many instructors that share this passion for case history review but in my opinion, not enough. I would be remiss if I did not give a shout out to Chief Joe Pronesti from Elyria OH because he does as well if not better than most. In fact he just did a piece in detail on these same three fires for Fire Engineering. He included diagrams and details.
There is a famous phrase that says that if we do not study history then we are doomed to repeat it. As an older member we take for granted the fires we studied but there are generations of new folks that might not know what happened in Hackensack, Bricelyn Street, the HappyLand Social Club or many other catastrophic fires that killed multiple civilians or firefighters.
Don’t mistake us all LODDs are important but multiples should be reviewed. They all should be reviewed.
I know you might know the story, but the action key is when and how did you share it with others?
This week The Firefighter Training Podcast interviews Deputy Chief (Ret.) Kevin Burns from Framingham Fire Department. We talk about company officers, shift officers, and some fireground expectations from the boss.