Thread: Well why?

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    Default Well why?

    Unfortunately those in the fire prevention field are taking a significant risk as the path to the upper ranks are predominately filled with those coming up and through the suppression ranks (line officers, training officers, etc). Some even say it's career suicide.

    So with such a risk and image in the fire service of those who are in the prevention field, why did you choose this path?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel Byrne View Post
    Unfortunately those in the fire prevention field are taking a significant risk as the path to the upper ranks are predominately filled with those coming up and through the suppression ranks (line officers, training officers, etc). Some even say it's career suicide.

    So with such a risk and image in the fire service of those who are in the prevention field, why did you choose this path?
    Well I guess the Inspectors and Fire Marshals have problems playing with the hose draggers where you come from. Here, we all work together hand in hand and get along very well- Career suicide? Hardly. Risk and image? What the heel are you talking about?

    BTW I chose this path because two slipped discs in my back started to disagree with me every time I put on an SCBA, not that I dont still do it occasionally.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel Byrne View Post
    Unfortunately those in the fire prevention field are taking a significant risk as the path to the upper ranks are predominately filled with those coming up and through the suppression ranks (line officers, training officers, etc). Some even say it's career suicide.

    So with such a risk and image in the fire service of those who are in the prevention field, why did you choose this path?
    What you are sying is pretty true as it is faitly rare to see a Chief or even a Deputy or Asst. Chief with a significant history in public education. In Europe, significant time in Public education is considered a prereqresite for promotion to Chief, Deputy Chief or Asst. or Chief.

    I took this route about 20 years ago when I determined that by focusing the majority of my time and efforts, as well as training time, on prevention and education, I could prevent far more damage and save more lives focusing on that part of the operation. While I still responded to incidents, it was a choice to accept that I likely would not progress very much on the suppression side as my pubed activities left only a small chunk of time for suppression-related training and suppression-related activities, with the exception of conducting some suppression training now and then.

    Looking back at my choice, there is no doubt that it was the right one as my efforts have made a significant impact on the communities that I have served in. .
    Last edited by LaFireEducator; 11-01-2011 at 08:28 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by FWDbuff View Post
    Well I guess the Inspectors and Fire Marshals have problems playing with the hose draggers where you come from. Here, we all work together hand in hand and get along very well- Career suicide? Hardly. Risk and image? What the heel are you talking about?

    BTW I chose this path because two slipped discs in my back started to disagree with me every time I put on an SCBA, not that I dont still do it occasionally.

    My brother to this I say "good for you!!" There are places where prevention and suppression are a team!! That comes down to the department's mission and values. What is the secret?

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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    In Europe, significant time in Public education is considered a prereqresite for promotion to Chief, Deputy Chief or Asst. or Chief.

    ....it was a choice to accept that I likely would not progress very much on the suppression side as my pubed activities left only a small chunk of time for suppression-related training and suppression-related activities, with the exception of conducting some suppression training now and then.

    Looking back at my choice, there is no doubt that it was the right one as my efforts have made a significant impact on the communities that I have served in. .
    No doubt that those who come into prevention do so for a deeper calling and need, thus getting a deeper satisfaction!! When your career is over what can you say about it - for it? That's only for you to answer, but we need to find a way for our new recruits to ask that question!

    We are a laughing stock to other countries on how we approach the fire service in America...time to wake up...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel Byrne View Post
    No doubt that those who come into prevention do so for a deeper calling and need, thus getting a deeper satisfaction!! When your career is over what can you say about it - for it? That's only for you to answer, but we need to find a way for our new recruits to ask that question!

    We are a laughing stock to other countries on how we approach the fire service in America...time to wake up...
    We spend more per capita on fire protection than any nation in the world yet we have one of the worst per capita fire death rates.

    Yes, we have a problem.

    One of the major problems is that the average department in the US spends slightly less than 1% of it's budget on public education. less than 1%!

    My department has a budget of just over 1M, and from that it pays my salary and I have 10K for operations. I spend about 50% of my time on pubed, and the other 50% on training and admin responsibilities. Sadly, that represents a commitment to pubed that is far and away greater than most departments my size. I am quite proud that my department has made a committment to hiring a prevention person with a total staff of only 8 career members.

    I know there are those on the supression side that would rather see more money pumped into response, in the form of companies and manpower, rather than prevention programs and manpower, and quite frankly, they will never agree that prevention, not addtional supression is the answer.

    One of the other issues is the one you brought up, which is the fact that some of the brightest minds and most motivated members in career departments tend to steer very clear of pud ed and prevention because in most places, unlike Europe, it represents a career track to nowhere.

    In addition, recruits are often given a 3 or 4 hour lecture block on pubed over a 14 or 16 week academy, so of course, it their minds, it's not very important. We need to stop sending that message and significantly increase the time spent teaching how to deliver pubed to our newest personnel.

    Yes, we have a problem. And unfortunately, I"m not too optimistic about it being solved.
    Last edited by LaFireEducator; 11-02-2011 at 10:19 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    We spend more per capita on fire protection than any nation in the world yet we have one of the worst per capita fire death rates.
    Because of fires in dwellings. And the two biggest reasons for this is:

    1. Lack of codes and/or enforcement of installation and maintenance of smoke detectors, whether they be hard-wired or battery operated. As an inspector charged with inspecting all residential rental units in my community, I would say that over 50% of the units I inspect annually have dead or no batteries in some or all of the smoke detectors within the units. I would say that lack of public education is a problem, but from my own experiences, people just dont care. So in my mind, why waste the time and money on trying to educate someone that just doesn't give a schit?

    2. Lack of codes mandating NFPA compliant residential sprinkler systems in one and two family dwellings constructed of lightweight woodframe non-fireproofed (read: fire moves like lightning) construction. We have the National Association of Home Builders and their various chapters to thank for lobbying individual state's politicians to gut the ICC Codes. On January 1, 2011, according to Act 45 (the Pa. Uniform Construction Code which adopts the ICC codes) adopted the 1 and 2 family sprinkler requirements (NFPA 13D.) The NAHB and their Pa. Chapter, which lost the lawsuit trying to block the method in which the codes were adopted in Pa; went ahead and wined and dined the idiots in Harrisburg and got the sprinkler provisions thrown out. But I'm being emotional here.
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    Quote Originally Posted by FWDbuff View Post
    Because of fires in dwellings. And the two biggest reasons for this is:

    1. Lack of codes and/or enforcement of installation and maintenance of smoke detectors, whether they be hard-wired or battery operated. As an inspector charged with inspecting all residential rental units in my community, I would say that over 50% of the units I inspect annually have dead or no batteries in some or all of the smoke detectors within the units. I would say that lack of public education is a problem, but from my own experiences, people just dont care. So in my mind, why waste the time and money on trying to educate someone that just doesn't give a schit?

    I have had similiar experiences regarding smoke detectors.

    People at one time didn't care about seatbelts. At one time they didn't care about bike helemts, car seats and putting fences around pools. When I used to ski, nobody wore helmets. Now it's a fairly common sight, especially on kids.

    Granted, the increased use of seatblets and car seats have been greatly aided by the fact that it's now the law, not a choice, but by and large the fire service has done a p***-poor job of educating the public about smoke detectors, and more importantly, making a personal connection with the public regarding smoke detectors. Part of the problem has been a fairly soft delivery, and not using messages and images that truly convey the concequences of not having them. generally I'm not a fan of "shock education" however there comes a time when it's not only useful, but also perfectly acceptable, and IMO, the topic of smoke detectors is an area where a little hardcore messaging is in fact, perfectly acceptable.

    While I agree a lot of people may not care about smoke detectors, I simply don't agree that it's a waste of time educating them and trying to make them care. I do feel that maybe it's time that we change techniques that will make it very personal and very well may make them care.

    There have also been departments that simply have not made much of an effort in any area of public education, including smoke detectors. Either the leadership simply doesn't care, in part because in thier minds, fewer runs may mean fewer people, the line personnel don't care and aren't being pushed by the leadership, or nobody in the organization - leadership or line - cares And this is true in both career and volunteer departments. I know you hate it when I bad mouth the firee service, but this is the case, like it or not. prevention in many departments is not only not a priority but many times it's not even on the road map.


    2. Lack of codes mandating NFPA compliant residential sprinkler systems in one and two family dwellings constructed of lightweight woodframe non-fireproofed (read: fire moves like lightning) construction. We have the National Association of Home Builders and their various chapters to thank for lobbying individual state's politicians to gut the ICC Codes. On January 1, 2011, according to Act 45 (the Pa. Uniform Construction Code which adopts the ICC codes) adopted the 1 and 2 family sprinkler requirements (NFPA 13D.) The NAHB and their Pa. Chapter, which lost the lawsuit trying to block the method in which the codes were adopted in Pa; went ahead and wined and dined the idiots in Harrisburg and got the sprinkler provisions thrown out. But I'm being emotional here.
    And you have the right to be emotional as what happened in PA is nothing but a pile of crap. And it's happening elsewhere as well.

    And again, how hard has Fire Department X, Y and Z pushed for sprinkler ordiances in thier districts? How many times have all the departments in a county or parish pushed for a county or parish wide ordiance? In how many states have the majority of the fire departments come together and wrote letter and made personal appearences at the offices of thier legislators demanding statewide sprinkler ordinances? The fact is that by and large sprinklers are not an issue that most fire chiwefs keep front and center. Most have never wrote a letter to thier state legisklators. Most have never attempted to pass a sprinkler iordiance at the local level. Most have never written a letter to the editor of thier local paper every time a fire occurs stating that major damage could have been prevented with a sprinkler system.

    Am I bashing the fire service again? I sure as hell am because, once again, we have done a p***-poor job in demanding sprinkler ordiances on the local and state levels. And just as importantly, and maybe more importantly, we have done an even worse job on educating the public on the benefits and dispelling the myths associatted with sprinklers. How many departments or regions have sprinklers trailers? How many presentations does your department do a year on sprinklers? How many articles do you write for the local newspaper or how many appearences do you make on local access TV talking about sprinklers? Again, if we are going to educate we need to educate, and simply put, we have done nothing, with the exception of a few pockets here and there, to push and educate the public on the value of home sprinklers. Nothing.

    And by the way, I was very involved in the effort to get a local sprinkler ordiance passed on my previous VFD. The first time it failed. The second time we fought harder and got some of what we wanted. Was it a victory? In part yes, but it was also a failure as we didn't get everything we felt we should have. Had every departmnent in the county pushed for it would it have had a better chance of being adopted? Hell yes, as there is strengths and numbers, but honestly, several of the departments didn't give a crap about home sprinklers and didn't want to make the push and "upset the apple cart" in thier little burg.Sorry, but we haven't done a very good job.
    Last edited by LaFireEducator; 11-02-2011 at 12:37 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel Byrne View Post
    No doubt that those who come into prevention do so for a deeper calling and need, thus getting a deeper satisfaction!! When your career is over what can you say about it - for it? That's only for you to answer, but we need to find a way for our new recruits to ask that question!

    We are a laughing stock to other countries on how we approach the fire service in America...time to wake up...

    Really? Laughing stock?

    Your evidence of this is what?

    Please bear in mind that you speak only for yourself when you make such a statement.

    If places you have been affiliated with are a laughing stock, it's not because they are in America. Its because they are bad departments...PERIOD.

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