Prevention Culture Destroying Fire Service?

Our society's culture and values have changed, and so must we if we are to not only survive, but thrive. That said, I recently heard a fire captain say, "We are becoming too safety conscious," and contended that such an attitude is destroying what the...


Our society's culture and values have changed, and so must we if we are to not only survive, but thrive. That said, I recently heard a fire captain say, "We are becoming too safety conscious," and contended that such an attitude is destroying what the fire service is supposed to be all about. The...


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Change is uncomfortable, but nevertheless inevitable. The key to any organization's success is its ability to recognize the need for change and reinvent itself to deliver what the customer wants and values. Imagine where our fire service can be in 50 years if we accept and even embrace the inevitable changes coming our way, instead of fighting them. If we don't adapt, someone else may take our place.

Just ask the South Carolina Canal and Railroad Co.

DANIEL BYRNE is a lieutenant and the fire marshal for the Beaufort, SC, Fire Department. He holds associate's and bachelor's degrees in fire science. A 22-year veteran of the emergency services, Byrne is a National Fire Academy alumnus and a volunteer paramedic with Beaufort County EMS. A U.S. Marine veteran of the Desert Shield/Storm War, he is a technical sergeant with the Georgia Air National Guard, serving in the Fire Protection Division airport crash crew. He can be reached at dbyrne@beaufortfiredept.com.

FIRE'S TOLL ON U.S. CIVILIANS
NUMBER OF FIRES CIVILIAN FATALITIES CIVILIAN INJURIES
Source: NFPA
2004 1,550,500 3,900 17,875
2005 1,602,000 3,675 17,925
2006 1,642,500 3,245 16,400
2007 1,557,500 3,430 17,675
2008 1,451,500 3,320 16,705