Sunday, May 3, 2009

The Opposing Spectrum of Fire Service Safety Culture

The Evolving Fire Service Safety Culture lies somewhere between two conflicting and opposing spectrums, marked by traditionalist emotions and conservative perspectives.

It's all about firefighter safety, survivability and doing the "job"; however we need to identify the common defining ground..

Let me offer this for consideration around the table today;

Aggressive: Assertive, bold, and energetic, forceful, determined, confident, marked by driving forceful energy or initiative, marked by combative readiness, assured, direct, dominate…

Measured: Calculated; deliberate, careful; restrained, think, considered, confident, alternatives, reasoned actions, in control, self assured, calm…

The shifting paradigms of the fire service, over 1484 LODD in the period of 1999-2009, evolved building construction, occupancies, construction and materials, fire behavior, fire loading, community profiles, fire dynamics, risk, staffing and resource levels, personnel and skills sets…

What’s the optimum definition that would define a highly skilled, knowledgeable and dedicated firefighter in 2009? Where do you fit in?
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  1. The video of McCormack's speech has been pulled from the FDIC website.
    Links to it no longer work.
    Has an "official" reason been issued as to why the speech was pulled?
    There has to be a reason.

  2. Christopher NaumMay 4, 2009 at 9:12 AM

    Go to the Fire Engineering web page follow the links
    See Bobby Halton's reply on why the video clip was removed; Reply by Bobby Halton 16 hours ago
    Brothers and Sisters
    I pulled the video down, I did it of my own choosing after consulting with persons who were being directly effected by it. I have given my word to never allow a good firefighter be harmed by anyone and I will not allow my self interests at Fire Engineering to allow me to let my friends be hurt regardless of many hits we will miss out on. I do not put money ahead of friends and certainly not ahead of the fire service.

    I did it for my friend, I would do it again for any one of you. If you are angry it is gone you all have my cell 201 406 8278 call me and I will explain. Otherwise trust me, no one threatened me or FE, no one intimidated me or FE, we did it for the same reason we come to work everyday to protect America and each other. Please call me if you are confused if not thanks for your understanding. Bobby
    The above was copied from the FE page and link to the questions thread.

  3. Thanks, Chris.
    Well, that will certainly add yet ANOTHER discussion to the mix.
    Who IS this friend that he did it for?
    What REALLY caused the video to be taken down?
    Somebody made a phone call.

  4. Nice post, which presents why this has caused so much debate, a debate I think is healthy and needed. Many points of the speech I agree with and it highlights the need for the entire fire service to come together and find a middle road together.

  5. Guys, since I have been in the fire service and done some stupid things and have gotten away with them I feel pressured to respond on this issue. I have a real problem with the numbers of firefighters we are losing doing what I call stupid things. Things like searching above a fire for possible victims without a hose line. A safety line is good to use but does not offer the protection a charged hoseline does. It is not the quickest way to check a building but I don't think any firefighter goes to work expecting to not return home after his/her tour is finished. The administrators of the fire departments need to be held personally responsible when any of their people are killed searching without a charged hoseline or acting in an unsafe/reckless manner since it is a learned behavior. Just my opinion and being a fire chief for the past 7 years would never think of sending any of my members into a burning structure without all the protection I can provide for them. Also a side note. Please next year pick a different situation for the firefighter of the year. It was somewhat his fault for being in the position to have to save his captain? Floor squishy, but told to advance slow, what the???? Please retrain or demote this officer before he gets someone or himself killed.

  6. Very nice post. As some readers may have detected from my own post, I'm just a little tired of all the rhetoric when someone disagrees with someone else's point of view.

    Risk vs. benefit, guys. If you can't figure that one out, you shouldn't be leading firefighters. It's all fine and dandy to believe that you're gonna lay it all down for your brother, but when a bunch of them get killed trying to save you, then what?

    I'm all about aggressive firefighting, but I'm not interested in "lost causes". I think Ray's perception that we have a lot of overly cautious people is easily contrasted by those who think we take too many unwarranted risks.

    Chris has it right- the answer lies somewhere in between. Be civil and quit with all the posturing.

  7. According to me fire fighters need due safety and respect after all they risk their lives to save others...

  8. A cool articles right there mate ! Cheers for the website


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