Archive for May, 2013

Confidence.

Posted: May 18, 2013 in Uncategorized

Confidence is something built, not given to us. Having confidence in ourselves is a struggle for every human. Having confidence in our tools, should not be a struggle if we all give 110% between calls to ensure our equipment is Combat Ready. Lack of confidence because we are unsure of whether the chainsaw will start, the pre-connects are in working order, or our SCBA’s are working and full is something we can all correct through caring. Next time you are watching re runs of Rescue Me at the station, take a walk out to the truck in between commercial breaks and check your equipment. Take the time to refresh your confidence as well as pass it down to the newer members. You will thank yourself in the long run!

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Ever Steady.

Posted: May 15, 2013 in Uncategorized

They are the two best tools ever created.

They are fast , but calculated.

Strong, even when weakness creeps close.

Gentle, yet tough.

Never wandering, always moving with a purpose.

Have faith in them for they are your two best tools.

They will carry your tools of your craft into battle.

Your own two hands.

Ever Steady.

HOSED. Hilarious.

Posted: May 13, 2013 in Uncategorized

A brother showed me this series a few years ago. Poking a little fun at the volunteer fire service. Some familiar faces too! Enjoy.

Complacency Is A Killer.

Posted: May 13, 2013 in Uncategorized

It’s 3:30AM, in the middle of winter, and your pager goes off for a fire alarm at the local university. Are you jumping out of bed?

Complacency. We are ALL guilty of it. That early morning call for a “smell & bell” from the college notorious for burned popcorn on any given night. We can all remember being a probie and getting some excitement from any call – throwing our gear on, waiting for the salty old driver who lived down the street, then on our way,  sirens blaring, and dreaming of what we may find when we get to the scene. Those “smell & bell” calls were once exciting for us, have now become a nuisance.

Every single call can provide us with the opportunity to train and hone our skills for actual fires. From building construction to apparatus placement, each call provides us a different scenario we can use to not only learn ourselves, but train the newer members! Take the time to respond, place apparatus, and act (grab tools/ don SCBA/ FULL PPE) professionally for EVERY call. Leading by example by tagging out, and doing all of the previously mentioned tasks will show the younger members the right way. Walking into the 3:30AM call with no gear on and a clipboard in your hand, only to find smoke pouring from an apartment is not professional. I am just as guilty as the rest of us, and have been caught off guard responding to a reported building alarm, only to be told either en-route or on scene that we had smoke showing. “Expecting Fire” & being “Combat Ready” will help improve self and crew confidence.

Remember, sometimes fire alarms actually do their job and detect a fire!

So next time the pager goes off for a “smell & bell” call, be Combat Ready & Expect Fire.

Morale.

Everyone struggles with it, from paid to volunteer, keeping it up is a problem (no pun intended). We have all found ourselves in the middle of morale problem at one time or another. Our actions dictate how ourselves and the members around us will fair in the troubled times. In many cases, blame is directed towards the higher ups of a department, while sometimes true, the larger problem I have found most likely lies within the membership itself as a whole. “You can’t tell me what to do, I am a volunteer!”, “We don’t get fires.”, and my favorite “It’s the Chiefs fault for (INSERT MISC DEPARTMENT PROBLEM HERE).” We have all most likely heard one if not all of these words uttered within the walls of our stations or on scene.

When morale takes a dive, general interest is lost within the department. Members no longer want to train, make calls, help out at fund raisers, or even hang around the station in their free time.  By becoming a positive agent of change, even the newest members can boost morale with a positive outlook. Show up to training, help out at fundraisers, ask questions, share knowledge, and most of all, have fun! Instead of bickering and Monday morning quarterbacking everything, give some constructive criticism. The swim upstream may be very tough, but it will feel very rewarding when you start to see your fellow brothers & sisters morale improve because of your actions!

Final WTC Freedom Tower Spire Pieces To Be Placed Today. Never Forget.

Check Out TheFireCritic.com Blog!

Great Blog about the fire service by a Lieutenant on Roanoke, Virginia Fire Dept – Rhett Fleitz