Saving Our Own: Fatal Assumptions

This article examines three common assumptions that are made by members of fire service and airline industry that can prove to be fatal.

Who's A Leader?

Leaders create and refine culture. Our firefighting culture may be anchored in the past but it must reflect the reality of the present. Our culture is complex and is being woven on many different levels at the same time. We all have the opportunity to lead if we are comfortable with challenging the status quo to save lives.

Many in our industry are not. For them, the status quo is fine even when the result is a profession where reckless and needless injury and death is accepted with false bravado, even with pomp and circumstance.

To change fatal assumptions we must be willing to lead, step out of tradition and possibly face criticism. The longer you've been around the firehouse the more responsibility you have to create a culture based less on myth and needless risk and more on the cold hard facts that are killing fire fighters every day.

ERIC LAMAR lives and works in Washington, D.C. He has been involved in the fire service for 30 years.