Join us on Sunday December 10, 2017 at 8:00 PM Eastern time when the panel will discuss some of the most common organizational problems. These will include morale, lack of training enthusiasm, bad officers, bad administration, volunteer recruitment and retention and whatever questions you might have.
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This one is a fire service lesson for sure but I hope it makes you think of life lessons as well. It is about actions and motives and or intention. We do many things at fires, in the firehouse and in life. Today I am asking the probing question….why?
Lets look at a bunch of examples. You are on social media and you are vehemently expressing your beliefs and theories of the “only way to fight fires”. WHY? Do you want to educate? Do you want to impress someone about your level of education and experience? Is it your intent to demean them and their experience and show your superiority?
These are all different reasons for abusive social media stuff, but what is your motive? Do you think about the why, and do you think about what your perception is to others?
You arrive on the scene of a house fire, it is marginal, everyone is out. You jump off the engine and enter the structure. Did you do that because you were following your training? Did you do that so your crew and officer don’t think you are a coward?’ Do you do it because you think you are smarter than the facts presented and there might be someone in there? Or you just think it is the right thing to do?
There is a bad community climate in your city or town. You start your own personal work slowdown. You arrive on the bell, you don’t do house duties, you barely do truck checks and you are in a consistent foul mood. Why? Because someone else is in charge of your happiness and you are OK with that? Because you think if you don’t do you job and you punish your co-workers you will affect the citizens and make them change their mind? Because you have forgotten that you work in the greatest most noble profession in the world?
See your challenge this week is this….When you do something, silently ask the question, “Why did I do that or why did this just happen?” For real , don’t white wash this look hard and look deeply.
You will feel better, you will perform better, and you will be a better team member, if you just reflect upon your actions, motives, and intentions.
I am not sure there is one, but as each day moves along I believe that like a loaf or bread and a gallon of milk our training may have an expiration date.
I saw some stuff this week on social media and there was discussion that related to a major urban fire department and some techniques and tactics from the early 1980s. As I reviewed the document i read each line carefully and I began to wonder a couple of things: As a Chief and an IC would I use these tactics and techniques tomorrow?
As an instructor could I teach these techniques tomorrow to a small suburban department anywhere in the US and Canada. the answer in both cases was no. Then I thought back on my career and my initial training and I will admit I was taught these things, I had done these things and in fact as an instructor I had taught these things in the classroom and in acquired structures and live burns.
It gave me pause and I hope this post gives you pause also.
I think about some of the ridiculous (now) techniques I learned in Advanced First Aid and my first EMT class in the mid 1970s. I would be sued, beaten and arrested if I tried to perform those tactics today.
You see we do not do EMS like that anymore. (Thankfully)
I started to think about all facets of my training. The first DOT guidebook I used said to evacuate about 1500 feet from a burning propane tank. Now that distance is over a half a mile away.
I thought about using 3/4 inch booster lines in buildings and how to use a cooper hose jacket (Look it up) and a 2 1/2″ hose clamp.
You see the more I thought the more I realized that some of my training had expired.
Now that I know that I have to adjust my training I seek out and the training I deliver to make sure it is fresh…..
If you rely on training that has expired, it might not be the only thing that expires.