Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Ninety-Nine days of Opportunity

The fire service is beginning to fully recognize the merits in adjusting, altering, and changing our strategic and tactical ways of doing business in the streets. The traditional attitudes and beliefs of equating aggressive firefighting operations in all occupancy types coupled with the correlating, established and pragmatic operational strategies and tactics MUST not only be questioned, they need to be adjusted and modified; risk assessment, risk-benefit analysis, safety and survivability profiling, operational value and firefighter injury and LODD reduction must be further institutionalized to become a recognized part of modern firefighting operations.

Fire suppression tactics must be adjusted for the rapidly changing methods and materials impacting all forms of building construction, occupancies and structures.

The need to redefine the art and science of firefighting is nearly upon us. Some things do stand the test of time, others need to adjust, evolve and change. Not for the sake of change only, but for the emerging and evolving buildings, structures and occupancies being built, developed or renovated in our communities.It's no longer just brute force and sheer physical determination that define structural fire suppression operations.

Aggressive firefighting must be redefined and aligned to the built environment and associated with goal oriented tactical operations that are defined by risk assessed and analyzed tasks that are executed under battle plans that promote the best in safety practices and survivability within know hostile structural fire environments, while maintaining the values and tradition that defines the fire service.There are clearly defined areas for the fire service to draw its attention and efforts for firefighter safety.

The 16 Firefight Life Safety Initiatives provides that clarity, unity and purpose. The responsibility is thrust upon each and every one of us to recognize, we have a duty and obligation to work collectively towards these mutual goals and objectives of fire service and firefighter safety, health and survivability.

There are no days of rest; there is no waiting for “next year’s” Fire/EMS Safety Week. There is only the recognition and realization that we still have a long road ahead of us, and yes we may be running against the wind, but we know we can institute the cultural safety changes necessary to have the wind at our backs.

There are 99 days of opportunity remaining in 2009. There are approximately 258 days of opportunity until the 2010 Fire/EMS Safety, Health and Survival Week. Don't miss these opportunities to make a difference or to influence and change destiny; You have that ability.

Going Forward in the remainder of 2009 and Beyond-Protecting Yourself: Your Safety, Health and Survival Are Your Responsibility. Take that responsibility and run with it…even if you're running against the wind.
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