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  1. #1
    Forum Member yjbrody's Avatar
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    Default Oral board question

    I've had this question come up a few times on oral boards and was wondering how others might handle it.

    Which is more important: Prevention, Education or Operations? Why?

    My short answer (for typing purposes, not actually how I would phrase it) has always been operations because although the other two are important, there are always going to be accidents and emergencies that couldn't have been prevented by prevention and education (TA's, falls, malfunctions, lightning strikes, etc). Operations is our catch all and last line of protection for our citizens.

    Your thoughts on how you would answer it or my line of thinking?

    Stay safe!
    Nothing is as unimpressive as someone who is unwilling to learn.


  2. #2
    Forum Member sredish's Avatar
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    Not sure but I would say prevention and education are sort of one in the same as the education is a vital part of prevention. With that in mind, while I believe that all three are extremely important, prevention and the corresponding education is extremely vital to the reduction of accidents, saving life and protecting property as reducing the number of incidents directly relates reducing the dangerous risks citizens and fire personnel are exposed to as well as the reduction of property damage. While I feel we may never be able to reduce the number of incidents to zero, with prevention and education, we can give people knowledge that will reduce these to a minimum and give the citizens knowledge that may save their lives and their property.

    that's my take anyways...

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    Quote Originally Posted by sredish View Post
    Not sure but I would say prevention and education are sort of one in the same as the education is a vital part of prevention. With that in mind, while I believe that all three are extremely important, prevention and the corresponding education is extremely vital to the reduction of accidents, saving life and protecting property as reducing the number of incidents directly relates reducing the dangerous risks citizens and fire personnel are exposed to as well as the reduction of property damage. While I feel we may never be able to reduce the number of incidents to zero, with prevention and education, we can give people knowledge that will reduce these to a minimum and give the citizens knowledge that may save their lives and their property.

    that's my take anyways...



    Fantastic answer you hit it

    All three are important

    Even though operations is Normaly the one that gets the attention

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    I like YJ's response. While all are important, the main goal of a fire dept. is to protect life and property. If you're thinking about risk management, Prevention and Education are pre-loss and operations are post loss, in a sense. Prevention and Education are to reduce the severity and frequency, but there will always be fires. You want your fire department to be the best it can be at operations because ultimately tax payers are paying the dept. to be there when the stars aline and there is some sort of accident.

  5. #5
    Forum Member sredish's Avatar
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    keep in mind, it's sort of like politics... you can take the question and slide your answer around just a bit. politicians take a question and just use the time to say whatever they want; while i'm not telling you to do that, you don't have to really say ones better than the other. you can simply go through them quickly stating why all three are so important and why it's vital to focus on all three simultaneously.

    just remember, without prevention and education, we'd be no better off than they were back in the 1600s in Boston.

  6. #6
    Forum Member yjbrody's Avatar
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    Thanks for the responses guys.

    sredish- I completely see where you are coming from and your logic behind it, but I have a hard time taking the middle road on an answer when they specifically phrase the question like this. If they were asking why are prev, edu and ops important? I could completely see your answer fitting in perfectly. I guess I just have a hard time not answering the asked question.

    Maybe a combination of explaining why I feel each is important and then move on to pick why one is the most important in my opinion would make for a good answer for this type of question? Thoughts?

    Thanks again for all the replies.

    Edit: Maybe that's the trap though. Maybe they want you to recognize that all three are important, but phrase it like this to weed out those that would choose one over the other. Now I may be over thinking it.... I hate oral boards.
    Last edited by yjbrody; 04-06-2011 at 12:34 PM.
    Nothing is as unimpressive as someone who is unwilling to learn.

  7. #7
    Forum Member sredish's Avatar
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    of course this is my opinion, but questions like that seem to me like they aren't looking for a specific answer necessarily, they're wanting to hear you take on the importances of these roles in the fire service.

    there's only two options:

    1) discuss how all three are important
    2) pick one and describe how it's most important

    in any case, i wouldn't refrain from saying how all three are very important. if i was answering it, i'd answer how i did above. i do believe that prevention and education go hand in hand and i do believe without it, we'd be no better off than our ancestors, this goes for fire service, daily life and anything else we encounter... if we don't learn then we'll keep making the same mistakes. saying operations is the best is having a reactive approach and, very much like life, you have to have a proactive approach in the fire service. a reactive approach is basically sitting and waiting for things to happen like the slug on the couch who doesn't look for a job until his check bounces compared to a proactive where planning, training and education so you're ready before things happen.

    the training you do is proactive and falls under the prevention / education, not operations. without the education (training), you'd be wandering around on the scene like a chicken with his head cut off. remember, the fire service wants people that are motivated proactive individuals.

    again, that's my take and i have no clue what the "right" answer should be, proabably depends on the individuals sitting there but i know i'd like to work for a proactive dept.

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    As far as I'm concerned training is operations. To me, education is pub ed and prevention is building inspection, etc. I think the board wants you to pick an answer and then defend it. I don't think there is one right answer but you get points for how you answer. If you think education is the most important then cool, pick that one and then go with it.

    My 2 cents.

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    Forum Member sredish's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Adam_Smith View Post
    I think the board wants you to pick an answer and then defend it. I don't think there is one right answer but you get points for how you answer.
    agreed. and you're right about the training being operations... now that i look at it a little more.

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    disagree

    you can take any position you want as long as you can defend it

    all three are important

    and if you want to go that route, give them the three legged stool example

    if one is missing stoll does not stand up

    if one of the three E,P,O is missing your fire loss goes up

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by fire49 View Post
    disagree

    you can take any position you want as long as you can defend it

    all three are important

    and if you want to go that route, give them the three legged stool example

    if one is missing stoll does not stand up

    if one of the three E,P,O is missing your fire loss goes up
    Like

  12. #12
    Forum Member yjbrody's Avatar
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    Hahaha, thanks for all the feedback guys. All good stuff. Most appreciated! Let's do this again real soon.

    Stay safe!
    Nothing is as unimpressive as someone who is unwilling to learn.

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