Thursday, November 6, 2008

My Travels

In a posting a few days ago, I mentioned I was travelling to the state of WI to speak at a conference there. I also mentioned that I would maybe post a thought or two while travelling – especially if I had any mis-adventures. As I sit here at the Minneapolis – St. Paul Airport this morning, I am happy to say (knock on wood) that I have had no issues thus far. Of course I probably just jinxed myself!

Coming and going, I have a stopover at Chicago’s O’Hare airport. On the way through I saw something interesting that caught my eye. Here is the picture below.

It was a flu shot station sponsored by the University of Illinois. Just sitting there in the middle of the terminal. How cool is that? Who came up with that idea?
This prompted me to think: what could we as a fire service be doing that is out of the norm or our comfort zone to reach out to the community? I know there are some departments that do help with flu shots.

But what else could we be doing to get our assorted messages out? In these tight economic times, we really need to take a look at how we do business and what we can do to add value to what we already do. Value added service is something all of us should be looking at! In these tight times I would suggest that our best defense (against budget cuts) is a good offense (continue to move forward).
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  1. Didn't know we had a photographer here at TKT!

    Nice to see you're always getting ideas. Safe travels.

  2. There are some many things that we don't think about or chose not to do because it is outside of our comfort zone. I don't know that it is unusal but my department expanded fire prevention week to prevention month and invites the public for a fire prevention weekend. We also carry smoke detectors and batteries on our apparatus for anyone that asks. One of the neatest things that I have encountered is Chief Rick Lasky's Lewisville, TX. FD, where his firefighters read to children at schools. WOW! What does the public think of that? I'm willing to bet anything reasonable he gets. There's tons of ideas out there and generally we walk by it everyday. I would say ask your firefighters to write down some things that they would think could be benifical to the department securing their budgets or jobs. You'll probably be suprised.

    Brian W.

  3. From the department I was with for 26 years came a program intervention doing blood pressure drop in screenings for anyone during buiness hours during the day. We were trained to the Heart and Stroke Foundation guidelines and had B.P. kits in the front lobby of all the fire stations. We also gave out cards for people to keep in their wallets and asked them to bring to any fire station and we would take their b.p. and enter it on the card with the usual day time etc. One lady came in over a week and saw me and then came back again the next week and after her 4th or 5th visit admitted that she came because "she felt safe" as her husdand was abusing her. We talked and I did a referral to the local help agency and we agreed she could come by anytime and have her "b.p" taken. I was posted out months later and she came by with a card to say thanks and that she had left the situation....All in a days work.


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