Saturday, March 28, 2009

Runnin' Against the Wind

It seems like yesterday..But it was long ago. Against the wind, We were running against the wind. We were young and strong, we were running
Against the wind..

And the years rolled slowly past. And I found myself alone.. Surrounded bv strangers I thought were my friends, I found myself further and further from my home.. And I guess I lost my way There were oh so many roads I was living to run and running to live...

There’s something familiar and haunting about Bob Seger’s song, “Against the Wind”.

I was working late the other night on a series of training programs specific to command decision-making and risk management and safety. With the radio on in the back ground, I found myself stopping for a moment while Seger’s song played on. Ok, I know what some of you are thinking. Here we go again; Firefighter Safety! Safety Culture! change what we’re doing… But you know, it certainly seems like the years have rolled slowly past and yes with so, so many roads, paths and directions that time has taken us from and to.

I think back and we all were living to run [calls] and running to live. I remember when we were running calls and working jobs at a far greater pace and frequency than anything of recent. And with those call, the risks we would take and the places we would find ourselves,many without goor reason, other than for the love of fighting fire and doing what we did best. But it does seem like we were running against the wind in so many ways.

Here we find the fire service looking at our culture, attitudes and statistics in the escalating firefighter LODD and firefighter injury rates. There’s an awful lot of time, energy and resources being committed and directed towards fire service safety. Is anyone really listening? Does anyone really care? Is the fact that it happens-Somewhere else; not here, not to me, not my department! Are You and your company paying attention? are you doing something to correct the trend?

With all my travels and lectures across the country, hearing the conflicting dialog amoungst us; it sometimes feels like I’m against the wind . I'm still runnin' against the wind . I'm older now but still running…..Against the wind.
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1 comment:

  1. Chris,

    Some of the "running against the wind" culture is left over, but it's not appropriate. We have fewer fires with which to play ourselves into shape. However, those fires are hotter, faster, and burning structural components with less mass and thermal resistance.

    Officer training has a lot to do with it, too. We train a lot on Maslow's Heirarchy of Needs, but not enough on Chris and Ben's Heirarchy of Born Losers.

    The old runners against the wind contribute when they indicate that it's less-than-manly to fight fires from the outside, no matter how suicidal a lot of modern firefights might be.

    Running against the wind often means getting hit in the teeth with the flaming brands and building components that the wind flings ahead of the fire.

    I'm a fan of drowning the wind with water...automatic sprinkler water.

    Keep up the message, brother.
    Ben

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