The Parable of the Fatally-Flawed Safety Fraud

If you are a leader and you believe in safety, you will have to make the hard decisions, and live the example yourself. The decisions will be hard, but the results will be well worth the effort.


This is, my friends, a story about a dangerous person. Their danger lies in their inability to accept change in any aspect of life, but most particularly where that change has to do with anything involving safety. So let me now take you back to the days of yesteryear for a stunning look at an incredibly flawed safety fraud.

There was a young man from the land of Nod, who thought that the need for safety was incredibly odd. He had emigrated from the land of Fightus Fireous to the Land of Nod during the reign of Alan the Great. He left the land of his birth because he could not cope with the changes created by the eminently famous Alan the Great of Phoenix.

He left for the Land of Nod because he heard that in that great land, people were always winking and nodding at the concepts known as safety. The problem was that his ideas about firefighting harkened from an earlier generation. For you see, he did not seem to think like you and like me when it came to safety.

His views came from the generation when fire was fought by stacking the bodies of firefighters upon the conflagration. This was repeated until the fire was literally smothered by the stifling weight of the firefighters. The people in the land of Fightus Fireous were very casual about life and death. So you lost a few people now and again. Was that not how fire was always fought? Was not firefighting yet another form of human sacrifice?

Were we not supposed to sally forth into the mouth of the dragon, so that we might be injured and die? Was this not the way that we in the world of firefighting were supposed to prove our worth to the world at large? This man from the Land of Nod could be heard moving throughout the length and breadth of the kingdom shouting his well-known catch-phrase: "...Safety is for Sissies."

After a time he began to take his fraudulent follies on the road throughout the kingdom to many large-scale fire training (?) venues. His message was about as bad a brand of poison as any could be to the world of safety when it came in contact with young and pliable minds. These were the folks who knew not from whence the fraud came, nor did they think to question his frivolous follies.

He could be heard scoffing at all of the efforts to keep firefighters safe. Many among the younger generation thought his message to have merit. He began to gain disciples among the masses. He would receive a loud, standing ovation when he would shout his "...Safety is for Sissies" message to the assembled masses of future dumb-asses.

People began to use his ill-advised illustrations as the impetus for driving like wild people. Red lights and stop signs had no value in their world. We are on a mission, these fools would say as they drove ever faster and ever less prudently. The concept of faster is better ruled their lives. Tough guys drove fast and always got to run the chicken civilians off of the road.

People would use his excuses for not wearing breathing apparatus when they entered burning buildings. Tough guys ate smoke he preached. Only sissies wore self-contained breathing apparatus. Tough guys coughed up their guts and spat phlegm all around. It was not a pretty sight to behold my friends.

Another of the sayings put forward by this Fraud from the Land of Nod went something like this: "Seatbelts are for sissies." His disciples could be heard chanting this wherever they went. You cannot tell me what to do. People began to challenge the accepted wisdom of seatbelts, safety, and such.

This fraudulent snake oil salesman was a pox upon the land of fire service safety. When would his influence diminish? When would people come back to their senses? When would this flatulent fraud finally exhaust his bag of excretive winds? His impact was growing and people were hard pressed to counter his stupid soliloquy.

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