Random Thoughts on Minimum Standards

This is a term that gets tossed around the fire service often. It was a term that I used to hate when I was the Coordinator of Firefighter Certification. You know, now that I think of it, I am not real fond of it now either!

The firefighter that passes firefighter I/II certification with a 70% actually got 30%  wrong! But still he or she is certified to meeting the minimum required standards.

I understand why we have minimums and i get it, but please never let the minimum be your goal.

When training new members, get them passed where they need to go and let them know that the minimum is the floor, but we should be aiming for the ceiling.

Would you go to, or would you take your family to a doctor who graduated with the minimum credentials? Would you get on a plane with a pilot or co-pilot that just made the minimum?

Lead your people to the top. They can and will get lost on their way but that is our job, to guide them. Don;t get frustrated when they struggle, refocus and redouble your efforts to get them where they need to be.

As senior members, officers and instructors let us always coach our members to a higher level. In fact coach them to the highest level they can achieve……and while you are at it and caring for others……push and test yourself once in a while too!

Tactical Fire Problem – Multi-Story with Fire Escapes

This week The Tactical Fire problem is a multi-story older building with fire escapes.

1.) What is your initial report?

2.) How would you deploy your manpower of 2 engines and 1 ladder initially?

3.) Does your department have training and or SOPs for operating on fire escapes?

4.) Name 2 methods for extending hose lines on the exterior over fire escapes.

5.) What does the age of this building indicate about fire spread potential?

 

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.

"Changing the fire service, one mind at a time"