Your Opinion

Hey, you know what they say about opinions…..they are like…….and everybody has one.

Opinions are the best. The first amendment says that in America we all get to have freedom of speech. There are some limitations about that but they are small.

The thought for today is, I know that you have the right to your opinion, but what is the weight of your opinion?

An opinion about the job is aways relevant, except on the fireground. The fireground and to many degrees the fire department organization itself is not Burger King….You don’t get to have it your way!

If your are truly an expert in your field then you have a right to expert opinion. The question here becomes who proclaimed you an expert? The court and judicial system/ An academic university? Does the fact that you have a PHD or a Masters degree give you expert status? Does the fact that you have written a book given you expert status? All of these have been considered in the past and I guess the listener has the right to determine your expert status.

If you have a ton of education but absolutely no practical experience does that your opinion mean more than someone with a limited education with multiple years of experience? I guess that your opinion is sort of like beauty, it is really in the eye of the beholder.

My advice, guidance and purpose for this week is this:

when you render opinion, know what the weight and limitations might be on that opinion. You have the right to express it, but others have no obligation to accept it.

I know this all too well by delivering an international podcast every wekk, and that is that I express my opinion every week on the podcast.

Sometimes, (and I am grateful) that many agree, but I cannot allow myself to get angry when someone disagrees. You see that is their right as well. Because  I profess it, does not make it true.

My hope this week is this: If you have something to say, say it. Remember however that everyone else’s right might be to disagree.

Don’t be disappointed, don’t be angry, just realize that everyone has an opinion.

How we react to disagreement really speaks volumes about our character.

Think about it.

 

 

 

Tactical Fire Problem – Civil Unrest

This week The Tactical Fire Problem involves open street fires during civil unrest.

 

1.) Have you had any combined training with law enforcement to understand the complexities of civil unrest? In today’s day and age the spark or trigger for an event can occur without warning.

2.) Are you prepared to decon law enforcement officers from tear gas and foreign compounds or bodily fluids and waste thrown at them?

3.) There needs to be an extremely tight ICS and command system established. Do you have members that freelance during normal operations?  What are they going to do in this case? What is there are civilians or LE down?

4.) What is your plan if you are asked to use water to disperse people, or to use your apparatus for cover?

5.) Where can you get valid training on this topic to brief your personnel?

Firefighting Today Weekly Roundtable – Does the FD Safety Culture Affect Service Delivery?

Join us on Sunday November 5, 2017 at 8:00 PM Eastern time when the Panel will discuss whether the safety culture and initiatives affect service delivery. Is safety just an excuse not to do our jobs? Is there any data to back up either side of this argument.

You can watch us here, or on Firefightingtoday.com or watch us live on YOUTUBE and use the live chat to interact with the panel.

Boundaries

This week I am writing about boundaries. There are many boundaries we encounter everyday on the job and in life.

Boundaries are  interesting things. We can explore them, expand them, build them and sometimes stretch them for good or bad.

My point is to try to get you to think critically about boundaries. How can you expand your professional FD boundaries. You can push yourself, you can train, you can take classes you can do everything you can to challenge these boundaries. You see in many ways boundaries are considered limits.They can be legal, perceived, or physical.

Overcoming any personal shortcoming can be considered overcoming a boundary.

One of the things I want to talk about is what do you set for boundaries? Will you stoop to personal negative attacks with those who have differing opinions from yours? Will you make fun and demean others? You see every day, everyone can see your boundaries, that maybe you cannot.

The way you treat others, the friends you hang out with, the mannerisms you display, all display your boundaries to others.

This week, make sure you understand the boundaries of your organization, the boundaries of law, the limitations of your training and experience, but most of all take a look in the mirror during some quiet time. See if you can see the boundaries that others see in you.