1. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by jakesdad View Post
    Salaries for "chiefs" to teach elementary school students about fire safety is a justifiable expense, yet salaries to safely and adequately staff fire companies is a burden? It is both illogical and contradictory.

    Never said anything about "Chiefs" teaching programs. if your Fire prevention/Education Division is large enough to justify a Chief Officer, he/sje should be the one spending his time managing the division, pushing smoke detector and sprinkler ordiances, working for and supporting fire safety inititives with state-level fire safety organizations at the state level, developing fire department partnerships with between local community groups and organizations asnd the fire service, working with the media to deliver firesafety messages and seeking alternative sources of funding and community based manpower for public education and prevention.

    Yes, that is a truly justifable expense.

    Never did I say that line personnel were not justifiable as there will always be fires, no matter how effective pub ed and prevention is, in addition to the other emergencies your department may respond to. What I did say was that there are places where much of a company's time is not spent on responses, and in that case, they could be very well utilized for public education and prevention functions.

    And yes, for many communities staffing 3-shift 3 or 4-man companies is a financial burden that, if can be eliminated, by a reducation in fires through effective public education, that is in fact a wonderful thing. The cost of paid supression is high, especially in smaller communities, and yes, if fires can be reduced and those paid staffs can be eliminated, or fires can be reduced to a point where they can be reduced and now possibly supplemented by volunteers, it is a win-win situation for the community and the taxpayers.


    You have made it clear time and time again that while you may have many years in the fire service, your actual experience is quite limited.

    That's your opinion. The fact is I see supression as a backup to prevention. IMO our primary purpose should be to teach the community how not to have fires, and how to respond to a fire should they have one. That certainly doesn't mean we abandon supression as there will always be a need, but it should be the priority of the fire department to reduce that need as much as possible.

    The disdain you display towards those who actually work on fire apparatus as opposed to those who work in fire prevention is unwarranted. You create this false divide between the two that comes across as both juvenile and condescending.

    I don't display any disdain, especially since I have worked on the streets as you call it, as a line firefighter in a volunteer capicity for 31 years, and continue to today both in my full-time gig when needed and as a volunteer.

    However, I see that in many places there is downtime that can be used fmore efficantly than many departments use it. And yes, some of that downtime can be used for more community-based public education. the fact is that in many departments firefighters spend downtime behind the closed doors of the fire station. paying personnel is not a cost-effective way to deliver fire protection unless there are specified duties that occupy a career staffs time when not responding. In many department's that is not the case.


    For the great majority of us, fire prevention IS important and is an everyday part of what we do. It is performed professionally and is given a high priority. It is just not the ONLY thing many of us do, but I hardly think it makes us any less effective.

    "If the only tool you have is a hammer, than every problem is a nail"...which may explain why your answers to every problem facing the fire service is of such narrow focus.
    I see many answers to problems. However, the the case of surburban and rural America, enforcing codes and teaching the public how to prevent and prepare for fires, and escape from fires, is a much better as well as a much more cost effective and realistic option than increased supression personnel.

    In surburban areas, increased public education and prevention is a large part of the answer in terms of reducing fires. While some esurburban departments may be able to afford to hire a limited number of career firefighters to reduce response times, they will unlikely be able to hire them in large enough n umbers to majke a significant difference in fireground effectievness. For most of the surburban departments, hiring any personnel is not a realistic option without a significant adjustment in taxes. For these communities response times and limited manpower will always be an issue that limits even the best surburban's department effectiverness. Because of that, preventing the fires through prevention and public education is the best option for reducing fires and fire deaths, and it can come at a fairly cheap cost - As cheap as one career member to deliver oprevention and education, as well as conduct inspections and handle other routine business. If a department doesn't want to go that route, public education can be delivered quite effectivly by motivated and trained volunteer and support members at a mimimum budget.

    Simply put, for many surburban departments, prevention and education is probably the cheapest, most cost effective and overall, most realistic option to reduce fires, and fire deaths.

    On the rural level, rural fire departments will never be able to significantly impact fire deaths. Extendwd notification times and nore importantly, extended response, times will always create huge obstacles, that in many cases simply cannot be overcome, for even the best trained rural VFDs. Throw in underfunded, understaffed, underequipped and/or undertrained rural VFDs into the mix and in many, if not most cases, the only way to effecivly and consistantly reduce the fire problem is through prevention and education. The reality is there simply isn't enough money in the world to build enough stations, to reduce response times, and recruit enough volunteers to adequatly staff those stations in the majority of rural America to make a damn bit of difference in terms of rescueing victims in the few minutes they have after a fire.

    So yes, in the rural world, effecitve public education is the only truly cost effective answer to the fire problem. Certainly increased training, staffing and equipment will make a difference, but the obstacle of often exteneded response times will, in many places, if not most, simply cannot be overcome.That is why stopping the fire through prevention and education is critical to reducing the fire probelm, in rural America
    Last edited by LaFireEducator; 12-20-2011 at 11:37 AM.
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    Okay, so the yardstick to measure focus is a "percent of budget". Again, I don't know that this adequately measures "focus". However, I can't dispute this as I have no information telling me what is included in these budgets and other disparities between entire countries. Even local communities account differently for various aspects of their fire departments

    It's certainly not the only measure, and never said that it was.

    I pointed out the fact that recruits are given far more prevention and public education training during thier recruit school than in the US. I pointed out the fact the suppression companies in Europe and Japan, as indicated by several USFA reports, spend far more time on community based public education and prevention than supression companies in the US. I indicated that members wishing to transfer into prevention in Europe and Japan as entry-level educators and staff were required to have significant college-level training on educational theory and delivery before being considered for the positions, and that members looking for promation to Prevention Chiefs had far more in the way of college-level requirements to meet before promtion. I stated that members looking for department command-level positions were expected to have spent considerable time in prevention as a prerequiste for those promotions. I indicated that in Europe and Japan, prevention is a valid and prestigious career-path that personnel are assigned to because of skill and training, not because we have no place else to put them like often is the case an the US, and they are not referred to as "fire dodging cowards" like some are referred to by thier supression brother in the US.

    All of those things indicate a far greater degre of focus on fire prevention when compared to US fire departments.

    Signs are cheap and of dubious effect, but okay


    In a primarily rural area such as mine with no local newspaper and a very limited number of ways to deliver mass messages, they are very effective.

    Agreed, but not sure this "costs" anything.


    In a career department, pushing for sprinklers and other automatic devices does have a cost - time - and when somebody is being paid, that does mean money. And in a volunteer department, the cost is still time, which often is limited and certainly could be spent on issues on the supression side. So, yes, there is a cost to pushing for these things.

    And it goes back to priorities - How much time, which does have a specific value, is a department, paid or volunteer, willing to spend on prevention v. supression?

    Most of the things you reference require almost no money. So, perhaps your use of "percent of budget" as determining "focus" is flawed.

    See above. Time spent does have a value and does refelct the choices a department makes on where that time, and the value of that time, will be spent.

    If a Chief Officer not assigned to prevention spends 25% of his time on prevention issues, compared to a Chief in the US, that may spend 10% of his time on prevention issues, that 25% often reflects a greater focus on prevention as a whole, and even though it is not a cost attributted directly to prevention, it certainly can be considered an indirect cost.

    Take those salaries and apply them to a broader media campaign. You'll reach a lot more people. Again, paying someone a full time salary to teach 30 first graders/day is a waste.

    Agree to a point. There certainly is a point where hiring a member specifically to do public education is not cost-effective. In that situation, the cost effective solution is to train supression personnel to deliver the messages. There are certainly places, especially dense suburbs with department districts that are fairly homgenoeus and run together where multi-department or regional public education programs with financial and manpower contributions from each department to address common fire and life safety problems are extremly cost-effective. Certainly regional and state public education programs can also be a valuable tool and may justify some financial and manpower support by a department. Not every department needs a dedicated public educator. There are many areas where combined efforts of several departments, or one paid educator paid for by contributions from all the area departments, supported by trained line personnel is a very valid way of delivering public education.

    There are certainly multiple ways to deliver education, depending on the department's budget. the point is it needs to be delivered in some way by somebody, who has been trained to deliver effective programming.

    In both of my neighboring combo districts, there are no schools and very limited venues to deliver any type of public education. The schools happen to be located in my district, so the need for a public educator is not as great. That is why in many cases they ask me to come and deliver programs, and have trained some of the members to deliver some of the programs' themselves.

    In my case, I spend about 40% of my time and direct public education and pubed admin, and the remander is spent on training and training admin, as well as department admin. if we ever get into inspections, which is a possibility, that mix well become much more prevention heavy, and likely I will have to lose my training responsibilities.

    Also, why use firefighters at all for that local fire prevention message? Support the schools with grants and additional information and let those professional educators take on this message.

    Again, agree to a point. Certainly there is value in using teachers to delver parts of and support our message, however, I disagree that firefighters cannnot be trained to effectivly and professionally deliver public education. Require Public Educator I/II for those wanting to go into prevention or make it optional with incentives for line personnel. Same with Juvenile Firesetter Intervention I/II. Require a teaching certfication for those firefighters who who primarily work in public education, and reward that certification. Require continueing public education training or general education training through local colleges. Whiel not required to, I work with the local school district to get enough continueing education to keep my state elementary teaching certfication current.

    Or take the route that may southwestern fire departments have and hire certified teachers and educators to deliver public education.

    The fact is in many places in Europe and Japan most fire department personnel have been trained to deliver public education as effectivly as teachers.

    I agree these things were probably paramount in that reduction in fires, where seen.

    I thought you attributed it to your fire prevention efforts


    I attributed the fact that in both my current combo and past department that rate of reduction was far greater than the national average. And yes, not only did I, but both my curreent and past Chief's have atrributed to the fact that both programs were very aggressive and multi-faceted.

    If you think hampering our response to structure fires by reducing manpower will reduce the death rate, I scratch my head...

    I am not talking about wholesale reduction is supression staffing, but asmall changes like going from 1% to 3% for prevention, inspections and public education. While you may consider that unreasonable, I consider it quite reasonable given that 15% direct expenditure on prevention is the norm in places with a lower per capita fire death rate.

    Why you think these two things are mutually exclusive is bizarre and just downright hostile.

    Never said they were exclusive. In fact, I feel that supression companies should be more involved in prevention and should require much more methodolgy and delivery training during the academy.

    You seem to see moving a few resources from supression into prevention as stealing. I see it as reallocating resources to carry out as critical part of our job, which is to reduce fires, and hopefully, allow the department to make additional reductions, down the line in supression, as the number of fires and fire-related responses drop. Bottom line is prevention is currently not getting a fair share of resources in most departments- volunteer and career - and until they do, the fire problem will not be solved by putting more and more monies into supression staffing without putting addtional money into stoppin g the fires from happening.

    The end goal of increased prevention will be decreased fires, injuries and fire related deaths. In some cases, this may result in a decreased need for some companies, allowing departments to reduce paid supression companies [and possibly supplementing with volunteers in needed] and personnel, saving the taxpayers money. If you call that hostility, so be it. The fact is that if we can reduce the fire problem to the point where we can reduce paid companies, and on the volunteer side, additional apparatus, and save the community money, we have done our job.

    My point is that throwing money and paid firefighters at a purely educational issue is a waste.

    Disagree. Changing behaviors is the key to reducing fires. Yes, inspections and requiring increased firesafety engineering is certainly a majort part of the reduction as well, but given that most fires and most fire deaths occur in the home, changing behaviors in the home is the key.

    Certainly that can be done by line personnel in some departments in addition to supression duties, as long as the department provides professional training for those members, and the member leading is the program has the certifications and training to do so.

    Some departyments have determined that they need full-time educators. Some departments,like mine, have determined they need educators with other duties. The fact is prevention and education does require some degree of specialization, and that does require a budget. To do it right, it requires more than the current 1% average.
    Last edited by LaFireEducator; 12-20-2011 at 02:30 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    I see many answers to problems. However, the the case of surburban and rural America, enforcing codes and teaching the public how to prevent and prepare for fires, and escape from fires, is a much better as well as a much more cost effective and realistic option than increased supression personnel.

    In surburban areas, increased public education and prevention is a large part of the answer in terms of reducing fires. While some esurburban departments may be able to afford to hire a limited number of career firefighters to reduce response times, they will unlikely be able to hire them in large enough n umbers to majke a significant difference in fireground effectievness. For most of the surburban departments, hiring any personnel is not a realistic option without a significant adjustment in taxes. For these communities response times and limited manpower will always be an issue that limits even the best surburban's department effectiverness. Because of that, preventing the fires through prevention and public education is the best option for reducing fires and fire deaths, and it can come at a fairly cheap cost - As cheap as one career member to deliver oprevention and education, as well as conduct inspections and handle other routine business. If a department doesn't want to go that route, public education can be delivered quite effectivly by motivated and trained volunteer and support members at a mimimum budget.

    Simply put, for many surburban departments, prevention and education is probably the cheapest, most cost effective and overall, most realistic option to reduce fires, and fire deaths.

    On the rural level, rural fire departments will never be able to significantly impact fire deaths. Extendwd notification times and nore importantly, extended response, times will always create huge obstacles, that in many cases simply cannot be overcome, for even the best trained rural VFDs. Throw in underfunded, understaffed, underequipped and/or undertrained rural VFDs into the mix and in many, if not most cases, the only way to effecivly and consistantly reduce the fire problem is through prevention and education. The reality is there simply isn't enough money in the world to build enough stations, to reduce response times, and recruit enough volunteers to adequatly staff those stations in the majority of rural America to make a damn bit of difference in terms of rescueing victims in the few minutes they have after a fire.

    So yes, in the rural world, effecitve public education is the only truly cost effective answer to the fire problem. Certainly increased training, staffing and equipment will make a difference, but the obstacle of often exteneded response times will, in many places, if not most, simply cannot be overcome.That is why stopping the fire through prevention and education is critical to reducing the fire probelm, in rural America

    Your sea of words has done nothing to dissuade me from my thoughts on this topic.

    You can't even stick to your own word within this very thread in making your point.

    You have made your views on the topic known many times before. You are offering no new information to this debate, just a continuation of a debate circle that has no end.

    If this false divide you have created between the fire FIGHTING world and the fire PREVENTION world helps to justify your personal or vocational ambitions, then so be it. Please understand that for most intelligent, informed and critically thinking member of the fire service, no such divide exists.

    Also know that your passive/aggressive approach to anything within the fire service not directly related to YOUR fire prevention agenda is certainly not productive and negates any coherent point you might be making.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jakesdad View Post
    Your sea of words has done nothing to dissuade me from my thoughts on this topic.

    You can't even stick to your own word within this very thread in making your point.

    You have made your views on the topic known many times before. You are offering no new information to this debate, just a continuation of a debate circle that has no end.

    If this false divide you have created between the fire FIGHTING world and the fire PREVENTION world helps to justify your personal or vocational ambitions, then so be it. Please understand that for most intelligent, informed and critically thinking member of the fire service, no such divide exists.

    Also know that your passive/aggressive approach to anything within the fire service not directly related to YOUR fire prevention agenda is certainly not productive and negates any coherent point you might be making.
    I likely will never change your thoughts.

    As far as the the divide, I find that interesting as in my combo department I function and have responsibilities on the both the prevention, administration and response supression areas, and on my volunteer department I function primarily on the supression side in both the command/control function as well as one of the department's 2 primary trainers..

    Do I see the need for specialized skills in prevention? Yes. Do I see the need for specialized manamgement with specialized training including a college degree possibly in education? Yes. Do I see them as competing? No, but the reality is that prevention is not getting it's fair share of resources given the task, which in the long run is to reduce the work of the supression side. If you see that as a divide, so be it.

    Until you see prevention as an equal to supression and training, and equally important as supression and training, with an equal right to funds and resources to do it's job, you are actually the one that is creating the divide.
    Last edited by LaFireEducator; 12-20-2011 at 01:37 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post

    Until you see prevention as an equal to supression and training, and equally important as supression and training, with an equal right to funds and resources to do it's job, you are actually the one that is creating the divide.


    Your post read alot better before you edited it to add this last paragraph.

    You don't know me, my position, my experience or my views on fire prevention.

    The only person on here saying to take money from "one-side" to give to the other is you. As for the rest of us, there simply isn't two sides.

    It is simply YOU that has created this divide and you have done it over and over again in thread after thread, making the same arguments and having the same litany of complaints about resources dedicated to things other than YOUR priorities. Your agenda is clear.

    I am certainly not creating a divide because for me there IS NO DIVIDE. I perform fire FIGHTING and fire PREVENTION every day at work. The two skills are not in battle with each other because they are both interconnected and overlapping on just about every single level.

    Why you feel the need to separate the two and have these nonsensical debates is beyond me and just about everyone else on these boards.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jakesdad View Post
    Your post read alot better before you edited it to add this last paragraph.

    You don't know me, my position, my experience or my views on fire prevention.

    The only person on here saying to take money from "one-side" to give to the other is you. As for the rest of us, there simply isn't two sides.

    It is simply YOU that has created this divide and you have done it over and over again in thread after thread, making the same arguments and having the same litany of complaints about resources dedicated to things other than YOUR priorities. Your agenda is clear.

    I am certainly not creating a divide because for me there IS NO DIVIDE. I perform fire FIGHTING and fire PREVENTION every day at work. The two skills are not in battle with each other because they are both interconnected and overlapping on just about every single level.

    Why you feel the need to separate the two and have these nonsensical debates is beyond me and just about everyone else on these boards.
    Because there have been members on this board who have stated more than once that when the budget gets cut and supression comapnies are closed or reduced, the staffing should be taken from prevention to keep supression positions full.

    Because there have been members on this board who have stated more than once that when budgets are cut, prevention should be always cut before presuppression.

    And there have been members on this board that have openly complained about having to perform prevention and inspections tasks, either ebcause they see them as a waste of time, something that shouldn't be their job, or it simply puts them out of position to perform their supression role.

    I have also seen one 5-station northeastern career fire department cut it's only public educator on staff to save a position in supression, at the recommedation of the union.

    The fact is that there is a divide in some places There is a divide because when the budget gets cut, the prevention staff knows that the line firefighters generally scream "cut prevention" to save line positions, and you can't deny that is more often the case than not. They simply do not feel equal because they know that in many line staff sees prevention as disposable if it comes to that to save line positions. Is that the case everywhere? No, but you know there are places where it is the case.

    Bottom line is prevention is just as important than suppression in terms of the mission of the fire department. In Europe and Japan, It's often seen as more important, as demonstrated by their per capita fire death statistics. Yet, that often is not the feeling among line personnel who seem to feel thier positions in supression are of greater importance than the delivery of prevention and inspections, and often see them as an uneeded component of the department. I'm sure you will deny this, but there are many line members who do feel this way.

    So before you start looking at me for creating a "divide", look around you. It's often the line personnel that are screaming to cut prevention when it's supression positions on the line. That in greatt part is the reason I see the divide.

    when there are cuts, there should be no move by supression personnel and the union to cut prevention. Do all line memners feel this way? No, but there are enough of them that do see prevention as a seperate entitiy, that is not as supression as an equal and do feel that it is perfectly acceptable to cut positions when the budget gest cut, or even not add positions if positions are not added at the same time to supression companies.

    Bottom line is in most communities, including some urban areas, effective inspection and prevention will likely save far more property and lives than suppression ever will, and that same effective prevent fires and own the line, will likely reduce the demands on supression companies. The only problem is you can't document what never happened and the fires that never occurred because a building inspection prevented a fire or a citizen put out a stove fire before it became a kitchen fire because of what prevention taugh them - so this arguement is for all practical purposes, moot. If you beleive that public education fighting for the same access to manpower, funding and resources as supression , in many cases seesm to feel entitled to, is creating a divide, so be it.
    Last edited by LaFireEducator; 12-20-2011 at 05:52 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    Because there have been members on this board who have stated more than once that when the budget gets cut and supression comapnies are closed or reduced, the staffing should be taken from prevention to keep supression positions full.
    It is odd that you will advocate for "US FIRST" in regards to firefighting operations... to the point where, at times, you will not even commit to an interior search.

    Yet, you advocate cutting suppression staff before fire prevention folks, when I think it is widely believed that cutting suppression staff will put suppression staff at risk.

    I know, you'll argue to just modify tactics and reduce suppression to supporting the backhoe during foundation saving.... however, that is not acceptable.

    Lastly, in most departments where all firefighters are involved in fire prevention, cutting suppression staff IS cutting prevention staff.
    I am now a past chief and the views, opinions, and comments are mine and mine alone. I do not speak for any department or in any official capacity. Although, they would be smart to listen to me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ChiefKN View Post
    It is odd that you will advocate for "US FIRST" in regards to firefighting operations... to the point where, at times, you will not even commit to an interior search.

    Yet, you advocate cutting suppression staff before fire prevention folks, when I think it is widely believed that cutting suppression staff will put suppression staff at risk.

    The reality is that having those prevention folks still in place can very easily prevent the fire if in an apartment or a business, by identifying a code violation that would have caused of the fire and having it corrected before it even takes place preventing the fire from occurring. The prevention staff could have delivered a message which gave the residents the knowledge to spot the fire hazard before it took place, preventing the fire, and preventing any risk at all to firefighters, including the risk of simply responding. They could have taught the occupants how to properly use a fire extinguisher, which may have prevented the fire department from even responding, or greatly reducing the risk to the firefighters by making what could have been a working structure fire into a simple mop up and overhaul. They also could have taught the residents where to install additional smoke detectors, and how to develop a family escape plan, which allowed to family to successfully escape before the fire department arrived, which allowed the firefighters to not have to make entry to perform a search, and allowing firefighters to make a lower risk defensive attack.

    In other words, the prevention staff could have eliminated or greatly reduced the risk to firefighters by simply doing their job, and their mission within the agency.

    So by keeping that pro-active prevention staff in place, rather than cutting them and moving them to a reactive line positions, there is a possibility that we may very well have made the fireground a safer place for the suppression staff by lessening or even preventing the incident.

    What I do advocate is that prevention positions are no more or less important than line positions and have equal value in the organization, and that suppression functions are no more important than prevention functions, and again have equal value, which means that in the events of cuts, the elimination of prevention positions as a trade-off for keeping suppression staffed in totally unjustified as both functions have equal standing.

    As far as your premise that eliminating suppression members at risk, suppression personnel should conduct operations that they are staffed for. if they are not staffed for rescue, they should not conduct those operations. If they are not staffed to operate interior, they should not. Nothing forces them to act beyond their means.I know that we disagree on that but our primary responsibility to to our families, and if the staffing doesn't allow us to perform certain functions, that is a choice that we can make.


    I know, you'll argue to just modify tactics and reduce suppression to supporting the backhoe during foundation saving.... however, that is not acceptable.

    Exactly. Tactics are based on manpower. And if the manpower is not available to justify interior operations, that is simply the world that the department must operate in. That reality does not justify the elimination of prevention positions that could very easily prevent the incident from happening in the first place.

    I guess what I find unacceptable is the mentality that says we need to have enough manpower to respond to the incident,but it is perfectly fine to gut prevention and inspection and leave them without enough manpower to prevent the incident from occurring, or lessen the impacts of the incident. Sorry. I think that if asked, most residents would prefer that the incident never happen as compared to having it happen. Again, both sides need the manpower to perform their mission. It is not alright to steal positions from prevention to cover suppression. It's simply not acceptable.

    The problem is that is the mentality that has us ranked where we are in per capita fire deaths v. the world. We have tried the suppression heavy method as demonstrated by the fact that we spend more on fire protection than any other nation in the world, and based on the fact that we rank near the bottom in per capita fire deaths, it should be pretty obvious that it hasn't worked out very well.


    Lastly, in most departments where all firefighters are involved in fire prevention, cutting suppression staff IS cutting prevention staff.
    I agree to some extent. That is making the assumption that line firefighters do play a critical role in prevention.

    However, given the choice between keeping a full-time educator or inspector v. a line members that performs prevention, as well as many other tasks, it's pretty obvious that the full-time prevention personnel are more critical to that end of the operation.
    Last edited by LaFireEducator; 12-20-2011 at 07:52 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    However, given the choice between keeping a full-time educator or inspector v. a line members that performs prevention, as well as many other tasks, it's pretty obvious that the full-time prevention personnel are more critical to that end of the operation.
    The third leading cause of fire deaths are from intentional fires.

    You will not prevent those.

    The FD is a catastrophic insurance policy.

    There will always be a need for suppression in a form that will be effective. Even the countries that "focus" more on prevention still have fire deaths and still have suppression.

    I think that line personnel should continue to do the fire prevention they do.. and that we should dedicate more funds not to local FD's for prevention but to more global efforts (school based and non-fire personnel).

    Considering that cooking and smoking are the leading causes of fires related to death/injuries, I would focus on making those activities as safe as possible....
    I am now a past chief and the views, opinions, and comments are mine and mine alone. I do not speak for any department or in any official capacity. Although, they would be smart to listen to me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ChiefKN View Post
    The third leading cause of fire deaths are from intentional fires.

    You will not prevent those.

    True, that being said it's primarily an urban issue. In my experiences in my suburban and rural enviroment, I have seen only a handful of arson fires in 31 years, and several of them were owner-arson with no life safety issues.

    The FD is a catastrophic insurance policy.

    There will always be a need for suppression in a form that will be effective. Even the countries that "focus" more on prevention still have fire deaths and still have suppression.

    Never stated otherwise.

    I never talked about gutting suppression and even cutting it back. But i do feel that any cuts in suppression required by decreased budgets should never be replaced with cuts in prevention. Cuts in both areas should be proportional based on the staffing, not balanced to favor suppression.

    The fact is that prevention can do as much as suppression in terms of saving property and life. problem is you can't document what never happened, because it was prevented.


    I think that line personnel should continue to do the fire prevention they do.. and that we should dedicate more funds not to local FD's for prevention but to more global efforts (school based and non-fire personnel).

    Disagree.

    Honestly, national efforts do not have the impact of local programs. While they do serve a purpose a national campaign does not replace local boots on the ground delivering programs to the community.

    What is truly needed is a significant effort to increase the public education training available at the state level, especially for volunteer personnel in small departments. They need to have greater access to training that will give them to tools and confidence to effectively deliver and managed community-based public education. The simple fact is that proportionally, more fire deaths occur in rural areas as compared to urban areas, and right now, in most states, volunteers have limited or no access to public education delivery and management training.

    Career departments also need to include much more training in the way of public education and inspection delivery in the recruit academies. the few hours being taught now are simply not doing the job. it is critical that line firefighters feel comfortable doing public education, and do more of it. They need to be able to deliver programs, and understand the structure and methodolgy of the program, even if they are delivering a standardized "canned" program developed on the state or national level.

    While I agree that non-fire school based personnel can have a role in critical role in delivering firesafety education, I disagree that they should be the primary educators. That role should be fire department personnel trained and certified at the Public Educator I level, and preferably with some college-level methodology requirements, who deliver the programs. That being said, I have no issue with a system that is used in the southwest where trained educators are hired and trained by the fire department to deliver public education. They do receive some fire training so they have some basic knowledge, and often they are paired with fire personnel, often from line companies taken out of service, who are on-hand to answer the fire-related questions they may receive.

    Bottom line is that the fire service now requires very specialized training for technical rescue, special operations and haz-mat as examples. it's time that we take public education just as seriously as require not only Inspector I/II for inspection personnel, but also Public educator I/II for delivery personnel, as well as college level classes.


    Considering that cooking and smoking are the leading causes of fires related to death/injuries, I would focus on making those activities as safe as possible....

    And right now there is the focus in many places.

    LA just joined several states in mandating fire-safe cigarettes, but there are still many that have not. LA also passed a ban on novelty lighters last year, which should have an impact on juvenile fireplay.

    Cooking is always a focus of my programs. I teach cooking safety in 4th grade as it has been identified as a local problem, and I know many other departments are similar. In fact, Shreveport made it mandatory for all apartments to have the stovetop suppression canisters that hang from the hood. They have already had several successfully deployments.
    Last edited by LaFireEducator; 12-20-2011 at 08:43 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    Because there have been members on this board who have stated more than once that when the budget gets cut and supression comapnies are closed or reduced, the staffing should be taken from prevention to keep supression positions full.

    Because there have been members on this board who have stated more than once that when budgets are cut, prevention should be always cut before presuppression.

    And there have been members on this board that have openly complained about having to perform prevention and inspections tasks, either ebcause they see them as a waste of time, something that shouldn't be their job, or it simply puts them out of position to perform their supression role.

    I have also seen one 5-station northeastern career fire department cut it's only public educator on staff to save a position in supression, at the recommedation of the union.

    The fact is that there is a divide in some places There is a divide because when the budget gets cut, the prevention staff knows that the line firefighters generally scream "cut prevention" to save line positions, and you can't deny that is more often the case than not. They simply do not feel equal because they know that in many line staff sees prevention as disposable if it comes to that to save line positions. Is that the case everywhere? No, but you know there are places where it is the case.

    Bottom line is prevention is just as important than suppression in terms of the mission of the fire department. In Europe and Japan, It's often seen as more important, as demonstrated by their per capita fire death statistics. Yet, that often is not the feeling among line personnel who seem to feel thier positions in supression are of greater importance than the delivery of prevention and inspections, and often see them as an uneeded component of the department. I'm sure you will deny this, but there are many line members who do feel this way.

    So before you start looking at me for creating a "divide", look around you. It's often the line personnel that are screaming to cut prevention when it's supression positions on the line. That in greatt part is the reason I see the divide.

    when there are cuts, there should be no move by supression personnel and the union to cut prevention. Do all line memners feel this way? No, but there are enough of them that do see prevention as a seperate entitiy, that is not as supression as an equal and do feel that it is perfectly acceptable to cut positions when the budget gest cut, or even not add positions if positions are not added at the same time to supression companies.

    Bottom line is in most communities, including some urban areas, effective inspection and prevention will likely save far more property and lives than suppression ever will, and that same effective prevent fires and own the line, will likely reduce the demands on supression companies. The only problem is you can't document what never happened and the fires that never occurred because a building inspection prevented a fire or a citizen put out a stove fire before it became a kitchen fire because of what prevention taugh them - so this arguement is for all practical purposes, moot. If you beleive that public education fighting for the same access to manpower, funding and resources as supression , in many cases seesm to feel entitled to, is creating a divide, so be it.

    What in the hell does any of this have to do with ME or MY thoughts on the topic? Absolutely nothing! Broad sweeping generalizations have tripped you up in many a thread and this one is no different.

    If your limited experience has led you to believe that firefighting and fire prevention are separate and distinct entities then perhaps you should broaden your scope. In MOST places, both tasks are being performed by the same people and a cut to staffing has a negative effect on both.

    So if you have sour grapes about the way some others feel about what you do, or the prevention world as a whole, address it with them, not ME

    Again , it remains YOU that is creating a divide. Your disdain shows in each and every progressively increasing passive aggressive post you make which have now made having an intelligent and insightful dialogue with you nearly impossible.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jakesdad View Post
    What in the hell does any of this have to do with ME or MY thoughts on the topic? Absolutely nothing! Broad sweeping generalizations have tripped you up in many a thread and this one is no different.

    If your limited experience has led you to believe that firefighting and fire prevention are separate and distinct entities then perhaps you should broaden your scope. In MOST places, both tasks are being performed by the same people and a cut to staffing has a negative effect on both.

    So if you have sour grapes about the way some others feel about what you do, or the prevention world as a whole, address it with them, not ME

    Again , it remains YOU that is creating a divide. Your disdain shows in each and every progressively increasing passive aggressive post you make which have now made having an intelligent and insightful dialogue with you nearly impossible.
    In this area, prevention and suppression is not being performed by the same people.

    Each of the 2 neighboring cities have Prevention Bureaus that are led by Prevention Chiefs, and they handle inspections, plans reviews, education and investigation.

    Line companies do not do any inspections. The Inspectors assigned to the Prevention Bureau do. If they see a violation they will report it to the Prevention bureau, but they do not actively inspect structures.

    The state of LA Fire Marshals Office requires that to perform an inspection, personnel must be Inspector I and assigned to the Fire Prevention Bureau. Line personnel, even if Inspector I, do not have the authority to conduct inspections as they are not specifically assigned to the Fire Prevention Bureau.

    f a department does not have the express permission of the Fire Marshal's Office, and has signed a written agreement with the FM, which states among other things, that the department will have a Fire prevention Bureau headed by a prevention Chief, and that all personnel doing inspections will be assigned to the FPB and have a minimum of Inspector I, they are not allowed, by law, to perform building inspections. The Fire Marshal's office has the ultimate authority for all building inspections anywhere in the state, and only they can sign off on a department that wants to do their own inspections.

    Anyone reviewing the inspections or deciding on corrective actions and enforcement, by civil service law and per the FMs office, must be an Inspector II.

    Because of this law, and the working arrangement required by the FM's office for fire department's to be able to perform their own inspections, this is the typical system in the state.

    So in short, you will not find line personnel doing inspections in LA.

    Your system may be different.

    Same with public education in most larger departments as it's handled by the educators attached to prevention. On occasion, a line company may support a program, but the educational components are almost always being handled by the educator as it is a civil service designation, and affects pay.

    In my department, I do the prevention and education. On occasion, I may ask the Deputy Chief for one or two of the paid staff or ride-out volunteers to assist, but it's myself that is delivering the program. Our paid staff is not expected to handle public education, with the exception of off-hours station tours.

    The fact is in many places suppression and inspections are two different operations led by different Chief Officers, and there have been statements made by more than one poster on these forums that prevention should be heavily cut to keep suppression companies staffed in the event of budget cuts. Again, I'm sure you will say that has never happened, but it has.

    In cases where there is line personnel involvement in the process, yes, cuts will have an effect on both suppression and prevention, but in many places, that simply is not the case.
    Last edited by LaFireEducator; 12-20-2011 at 09:10 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    And right now there is the focus in many places.

    LA just joined several states in mandating fire-safe cigarettes, but there are still many that have not. LA also passed a ban on novelty lighters last year, which should have an impact on juvenile fireplay.

    Cooking is always a focus of my programs. I teach cooking safety in 4th grade as it has been identified as a local problem, and I know many other departments are similar. In fact, Shreveport made it mandatory for all apartments to have the stovetop suppression canisters that hang from the hood. They have already had several successfully deployments.
    You frequently reference the challenges to staff volunteer rural and suburban departments; in fact, you frequently discuss how you want to limit the fire suppression education to just what is needed in your district because it is hard to get volunteers to sit through all the training... Yet you seem determined to require them to now take educator classes and do more public education????... that's unrealistic.

    As for intentional fire caused death being an urban thing... prove it.

    Also.. along the same vein, you said that national efforts have less of an impact then local efforts. On what do you base that?
    I am now a past chief and the views, opinions, and comments are mine and mine alone. I do not speak for any department or in any official capacity. Although, they would be smart to listen to me.

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    LA, why don't you take your on advice and stick to just talking about your depts. and your little part of the world. You tell everyone on here how your guys only take the FFI & II training that you believe is needed and that they don't have time to take all of the classes, yet you have no problem telling everyone else how they should operate. How many hours does the members of your Vollie dept spend taking fire prevention classes a year? Or was that one of the classes that they cut out due to the fact that your Chief does not think that it applies to your area. How many hours does either of your depts. spend out in the community teaching prevention? I don't mean you either, I mean the straight leg FFs. You want the rest of us to do all this stuff when I bet your own depts. fall way short themselves. People who live in glass houses shouldn't throw rocks.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChiefKN View Post
    You frequently reference the challenges to staff volunteer rural and suburban departments; in fact, you frequently discuss how you want to limit the fire suppression education to just what is needed in your district because it is hard to get volunteers to sit through all the training... Yet you seem determined to require them to now take educator classes and do more public education????... that's unrealistic.

    No, it isn't, especially if a department recruits and utilizes support, or dare I say it, non-firefighting administrative members for the public education function. I know of several rural VFDs whose public education program either was or currently is delivered by members of the community who never responded to a fire in their lives but have been very successfully delivering and running their departments public education programs.

    These folks generally have the time to attend public education training as they have no suppression training requirements to meet. They also have the time to dedicate to public education as they are not responding to fires. In many of these cases, these folks also got involved because they were former or current teachers, and using that current and past experiences to teach fire and life safety interested them. For many small departments, this is an excellent delivery and management option.

    That's one option.

    In many cases, those with an interest in public education may be willing to back off active firefighting and let the delivery of their department's public education program become the priority. Basically, that is what I did on my previous department. Though I was still an active firefighter and responded as such, I greatly reduced the number of outside suppression trainings
    I attended, and limited my suppression interests to just basic firefighting operations, and concentrated on attending the maximum amount of public education and juvenile firesetting intervention training, as that was a more significant departmental need at the time. Given the availability of increased pubed training, there likely is a member or two on every rural VFD that would be willing to allow that road to become the focus of their career.

    I would not require outside pubed training, and preferably certification, for every line firefighter in a VFD, but I would for somebody that wanted to pursue being the department's primary public educator and/or public education program manager. Training on supporting the delivery of public education can be handled with in-house training programs.


    As for intentional fire caused death being an urban thing... prove it.

    I don't have the stats in front of me, but yes, the overall percentage of arson fires is much higher in urban areas and much lower in suburban and rural areas.

    I really can't beleive that you want to dispute that. if it's that much of an issue I'll work on getting those numbers for you in the morning.

    I know that my combo department averages less than one structural arson fire every 3-4 years. It's likely less than that on my VFD, so no, it's not a problem that's even on my radar in either department.


    Also.. along the same vein, you said that national efforts have less of an impact then local efforts. On what do you base that?
    National programs provide a good source of groundwork for local efforts, but PSAs and press releases only have limited effect without local delivery by the local department. People want to hear the message firsthand and have the opportunity to ask questions.

    Hearing messages on the radio or TV is one way to get folks attention. Following it up at the local level with a local messages makes it far more likely that folks will follow the message and change their behaviors.

    While not all of my programs work off national campaigns and messages, some do. Some work off statewide campaigns, especially in the area of driving safety and vehicle accident prevention.
    Last edited by LaFireEducator; 12-21-2011 at 02:16 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by BULL321 View Post
    LA, why don't you take your on advice and stick to just talking about your depts. and your little part of the world. You tell everyone on here how your guys only take the FFI & II training that you believe is needed and that they don't have time to take all of the classes, yet you have no problem telling everyone else how they should operate. How many hours does the members of your Vollie dept spend taking fire prevention classes a year? Or was that one of the classes that they cut out due to the fact that your Chief does not think that it applies to your area. How many hours does either of your depts. spend out in the community teaching prevention? I don't mean you either, I mean the straight leg FFs. You want the rest of us to do all this stuff when I bet your own depts. fall way short themselves. People who live in glass houses shouldn't throw rocks.
    All of the paid line staff in my combo department has FFII, as well as some of the volunteers, so yes, they have public education training. We also do a training night once or twice a year on a opublic education topic

    In the time before I came to my combo department, public education was handled primarily by one particular Captain, who is now Deputy Chief. Once I arrived and expressed my interest in becoming involved in and expanding the department's public education program, much of the responsibility for the program was handed over to me so that he could devote more time to suppression related functions.

    Within 6 months, I had taken complete responsibility for the program. While they did perform public education before I arrived, it was like a lot of suburban and rural department's programs as it was hit and miss, and inconsistent without any real focus or stated, targeted goals and objectives, or serious yearly planning. I had inherited a similiar situation in the late 80's when I assumed responsibility for the public education program at my previous VFD from one of the Chief officers, who while well intentioned, ran the program without long term or short term goals, inconsistency and a lack of specialized training.

    For a couple of years I did it as a volunteer. The I was brought on part-time, and did much of the program on the clock.

    I was hired by my combo department 4 years ago so that line personnel with a minimum of interest, training and experience in delivering and managing public education wouldn't have to do that. The district made a choice that a consistent and strong program needed somebody who was dedicated to that function. Because of the fact that i was hired to do that as my primary function, the staff FFs and volunteers, as I stated earlier, have very few delivery functions. They do provide assistance and manpower, but 95% of the program delivery responsibilities fall within my job description.

    My volunteer department, quite honestly, has no significant public education program, so there I am basically starting from the ground up. That being said, there are no schools in the district and a minimum of public education opportunities as it's a very small community with no real groups or organizations calling it home. I will have to be very creative in figuring out ways to deliver our messages.

    While currently i am still very active in suppression and training, i see that dropping off over time as the program builds, requiring more of my time and leaving less for suppression training. In the end, that is a very good thing as it is quite difficult to handle public education and suppression functions at the same time in a volunteer department, and in the end, does both tasks a disservice.

    Once I get a program running with specific messages, cirriculum and delivery routes, there likely will be some public education training incorporated into both the rookie class and weekly department training so that line firefighters can be more involved, if they wish, with public education and prevention.

    As far as telling folks how they should operate, I fully understand that there are several models that can be used to deliver public education and prevention. However, the discussion is currently about cutting public education and then using those slots to replace suppression members who have been cut due to budget issues. the problem is that "model" has nothing to do with delivering public education and prevention. It has to do with reducing, or in some cases, almost eliminating the delivery of prevention and public education.

    A department that chooses to do that is simply doing a disservice to their citizens as reducing the delivery of public education can only have one result - more fires and likely more fire injuries and deaths. It may result in maintaining the level of response and suppression for a short time but sooner or later, the lack of prevention and inspection work will result in a serious increase in fire activity. The short-term fix of eliminating prevention positions to bolster suppression will have failed, and a cycle of increased fire activity that will ensue will overwhelm the department.

    It will also result in more significant fires to fight, and likely increased firefighter fatigue and injuries.

    Simply put, the short sighted fix of reducing prevention staffing to bolster reduced suppression staffing, will, in the end, result in far greater fire activity, which will hurt the citizens some of you are so sworn to protect far more than the original suppression cuts ever would.
    Last edited by LaFireEducator; 12-21-2011 at 08:48 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    All of the paid line staff in my combo department has FFII, as well as some of the volunteers, so yes, they have public education training. We also do a training night once or twice a year on a opublic education topic

    In the time before I came to my combo department, public education was handled primarily by one particular Captain, who is now Deputy Chief. Once I arrived and expressed my interest in becoming involved in and expanding the department's public education program, much of the responsibility for the program was handed over to me so that he could devote more time to suppression related functions.

    Within 6 months, I had taken complete responsibility for the program. While they did perform public education before I arrived, it was like a lot of suburban and rural department's programs as it was hit and miss, and inconsistent without any real focus or stated, targeted goals and objectives, or serious yearly planning. I had inherited a similiar situation in the late 80's when I assumed responsibility for the public education program at my previous VFD from one of the Chief officers, who while well intentioned, ran the program without long term or short term goals, inconsistency and a lack of specialized training.

    For a couple of years I did it as a volunteer. The I was brought on part-time, and did much of the program on the clock.

    I was hired by my combo department 4 years ago so that line personnel with a minimum of interest, training and experience in delivering and managing public education wouldn't have to do that. The district made a choice that a consistent and strong program needed somebody who was dedicated to that function. Because of the fact that i was hired to do that as my primary function, the staff FFs and volunteers, as I stated earlier, have very few delivery functions. They do provide assistance and manpower, but 95% of the program delivery responsibilities fall within my job description.

    My volunteer department, quite honestly, has no significant public education program, so there I am basically starting from the ground up. That being said, there are no schools in the district and a minimum of public education opportunities as it's a very small community with no real groups or organizations calling it home. I will have to be very creative in figuring out ways to deliver our messages.

    While currently i am still very active in suppression and training, i see that dropping off over time as the program builds, requiring more of my time and leaving less for suppression training. In the end, that is a very good thing as it is quite difficult to handle public education and suppression functions at the same time in a volunteer department, and in the end, does both tasks a disservice.

    Once I get a program running with specific messages, cirriculum and delivery routes, there likely will be some public education training incorporated into both the rookie class and weekly department training so that line firefighters can be more involved, if they wish, with public education and prevention.

    As far as telling folks how they should operate, I fully understand that there are several models that can be used to deliver public education and prevention. However, the discussion is currently about cutting public education and then using those slots to replace suppression members who have been cut due to budget issues. the problem is that "model" has nothing to do with delivering public education and prevention. It has to do with reducing, or in some cases, almost eliminating the delivery of prevention and public education.

    A department that chooses to do that is simply doing a disservice to their citizens as reducing the delivery of public education can only have one result - more fires and likely more fire injuries and deaths. It may result in maintaining the level of response and suppression for a short time but sooner or later, the lack of prevention and inspection work will result in a serious increase in fire activity. The short-term fix of eliminating prevention positions to bolster suppression will have failed, and a cycle of increased fire activity that will ensue will overwhelm the department.

    It will also result in more significant fires to fight, and likely increased firefighter fatigue and injuries.

    Simply put, the short sighted fix of reducing prevention staffing to bolster reduced suppression staffing, will, in the end, result in far greater fire activity, which will hurt the citizens some of you are so sworn to protect far more than the original suppression cuts ever would.
    Fair enough, That was a well written response.
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    Jakesdad I will say it - you represent the problem in the U.S. Fire Service. You would rather expose yourself and your "brother firefighters" to risk and thump your own chest than do less glamorous work. You are the glory hound type and are warping what was once a noble profession of men and women who took risks out of necessity due the limits of tools and technology of their time, and do it today out of bravado.

    My experience? Again displaying your warped view of the fire service, is from suppression. I was a firefighter recruit and worked my way to engineer then to fire marshal which, due to staffing of my department, also operated at a battalion chief level on the operations side in addition to prevention duties. So yes I have crawled down hallways, "slayed the dragon" as your type like to say. I have been on the nozzle and the IC. Here is the difference...

    When you and your macho "look at how tough we are" firefighters are giving each other high fives and congratulating yourself on how brave you are in the front yard of what was once someone's home, I took the time to work with the family standing on the lawn with tears in their eyes because they just lost everything - and in a fire that could have been prevented. When back at the station while you and your group admire your melted helmets and burns like badges of honor, I try to find a way to prevent what I just saw from happening to JUST ONE more family.

    To wrap it up jakesdad. My first fire occurred on November 21st, 1997 at 1135pm - I was on the vent team. I was there when they removed the 4 month old baby girl Erica from the house with her skin cooked off, and assisted the S&R team who were also burned in the futile rescue attempt. I loaded dad on the stretcher after breaking his back jumping from a second story window, and gave her mother a blanket as she sat on the bumper of my engine.

    Erica died because there was no smoke detector on the first floor and by the time the family woke up to the detector on the second floor it was too late for Erica who was also asleep with her bedroom door open. So from that day on, while working my way up through the suppression ranks, I have taken my knowledge of "crawling down" your glorious hallways and use it to save lives and property - sound familiar?

    Since then I've had two fire saves and three EMS educational saves where the educational/prevention work of MY TEAM got the job done while yours were sitting around the station table talking about the good old "fire days" and talking about how tough you are.

    I would suggest doing less crawling and more educating yourself. It really shows...

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    I think you ALL need to STFU and think about something for a minute:

    -The public will listen to us when and if they want to. Until then, complacency can, has, and will continue to kill. People who WANT to learn about fire safety will listen and learn, but that crowd, in my experience is slim to none- and usually only because they agreed to take the kids to the open house during fire prevention week.

    -Many of us have our hands tied behind our backs due to budget/manpower constraints. Not a damn thing we can do about it, especially if the politicians tell you to STFU if you want to keep your job.

    Have I resigned myself to thinking that I am in a war that I cannot win? Perhaps I have. But I am thinking realistically.

    Mr Byrne, no offense but seems to me that you are in some kind of a fantasy world where you think that everything is warm and fuzzy, and puppies and kittens, and full of people begging you to be educated about fire safety. Query: did you post your resume to try and impress us; I was neither impressed nor intimidated.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel Byrne View Post
    Jakesdad I will say it - you represent the problem in the U.S. Fire Service. You would rather expose yourself and your "brother firefighters" to risk and thump your own chest than do less glamorous work. You are the glory hound type and are warping what was once a noble profession of men and women who took risks out of necessity due the limits of tools and technology of their time, and do it today out of bravado.

    My experience? Again displaying your warped view of the fire service, is from suppression. I was a firefighter recruit and worked my way to engineer then to fire marshal which, due to staffing of my department, also operated at a battalion chief level on the operations side in addition to prevention duties. So yes I have crawled down hallways, "slayed the dragon" as your type like to say. I have been on the nozzle and the IC. Here is the difference...

    When you and your macho "look at how tough we are" firefighters are giving each other high fives and congratulating yourself on how brave you are in the front yard of what was once someone's home, I took the time to work with the family standing on the lawn with tears in their eyes because they just lost everything - and in a fire that could have been prevented. When back at the station while you and your group admire your melted helmets and burns like badges of honor, I try to find a way to prevent what I just saw from happening to JUST ONE more family.

    To wrap it up jakesdad. My first fire occurred on November 21st, 1997 at 1135pm - I was on the vent team. I was there when they removed the 4 month old baby girl Erica from the house with her skin cooked off, and assisted the S&R team who were also burned in the futile rescue attempt. I loaded dad on the stretcher after breaking his back jumping from a second story window, and gave her mother a blanket as she sat on the bumper of my engine.

    Erica died because there was no smoke detector on the first floor and by the time the family woke up to the detector on the second floor it was too late for Erica who was also asleep with her bedroom door open. So from that day on, while working my way up through the suppression ranks, I have taken my knowledge of "crawling down" your glorious hallways and use it to save lives and property - sound familiar?

    Since then I've had two fire saves and three EMS educational saves where the educational/prevention work of MY TEAM got the job done while yours were sitting around the station table talking about the good old "fire days" and talking about how tough you are.

    I would suggest doing less crawling and more educating yourself. It really shows...
    I must say that your post is one of the most misguided and misdirected I have ever read on these forums.

    I have not uttered a single negative word about fire prevention or the importance of it, nor have I thought one.

    In fact, I have stated on SEVERAL occasions that I perform both firefighting and fire prevention on every single tour of duty.

    I have tried to dispel the myth that firefighting and fire prevention are two distinct entities, because where I am they simply aren't. They are coordinated, combined efforts by a multitude of personnel working together towards a common goal - reducing the loss of life and property due to fire.

    At no point have I ever felt that one aspect competes with another. Nor have I ever harbored a single thought of resentment or criticism from anyone that soley performs fire prevention.

    I have stated repeatedly that this divide simply doesn't exist, yet your disrespectful, self-ag'grandizing and pompous response to me simply proves that if such a divide does in fact exist, it only does so in the minds of a select few. You being one of those few Mr. Byrne.

    Your broad, sweeping generalizations and mis-characterizations have no place in any intelligent discussion and do absolutely nothing to further your agenda.

    You have built up a straw-man. And now you are trying to defend that straw-man to everyone else. Yet when the very same people you accuse of negating the importance of fire prevention tell you directly that they DO believe prevention IS important, you simply ratchet up your rhetoric.

    Judging from the inflammatory nature of your response within an otherwise intelligent discussion, I am led to believe that if there are those that have a problem with "fire prevention" and the people that perform it are probably just having a problem with you personally, regardless of your chosen career path.

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    LOL! Not trying to impress anyone. Jakesdad questioned if I ever "crawled down a hallway" and I was merely replying to that. After researching his blogs and negative/argumentative nature I thought that reply fitting.
    Also a reply to the negative “war I can’t win” “not enough money or resources” excuses on the blogs.

    My department built a solid educational program that reduced fires by 60% with documented saves for the annual price of $5000 and no increased staffing for prevention, just realignment of current resources. Just proving it can be done and I heard all the excuses as to why it wouldn’t work and these blogs are like a trip down memory lane. While I thought what we were doing was ground breaking, and largely was in the US, it was being done already in other countries.

    The study of best practices worldwide (example - Tridata) prove time and again prevention can be done, reduces costs, and saves lives of both civilian and firefighter alike. Not shocking that these same countries we speak of have almost no LODD.

    Just today we responded to a house fire that started in a toaster because the resident could not operate a fire extinguisher…. They lost their home and our firefighters were put at risk extinguishing the fire that claimed the house (also a delay in calling 911) but could have been extinguished inside the toaster if the resident (an adult now) knew PASS. Is that MY fault? NOPE! But am I thinking of ways to educate people on how to use fire extinguishers and looking for grants to provide fire extinguishers to this neighborhood while we have a teachable moment – you bet. Will I prevent 100% of the fires in the neighborhood? NOPE! Could I prevent just one? YEP! Proved that time and again. I’m not interested in preventing 100% of the fires, and I realize maybe 60% of the people could care less what I say. But if I reach just ONE person and they use what they were taught and a fire was prevented and a home and life saved…. Then I’ve done my job and my department has delivered and exceptional service. Costs? Nothing! Needed additional resources? None! Time and focus detracted from suppression training and duties? Not a second.

    Take my post for what it is worth. Our culture is sick, and people within our service make it sick. Yes we have problems to fix both operationally and prevention, but it takes educated (meaning up on current practices) professionals, not what occurs largely on these blogs. Are you the solution or the problem? I have formed my ideas on that, but that is for you to answer.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel Byrne View Post
    LOL! Not trying to impress anyone. Jakesdad questioned if I ever "crawled down a hallway" and I was merely replying to that. After researching his blogs and negative/argumentative nature I thought that reply fitting.
    Also a reply to the negative “war I can’t win” “not enough money or resources” excuses on the blogs.

    My department built a solid educational program that reduced fires by 60% with documented saves for the annual price of $5000 and no increased staffing for prevention, just realignment of current resources. Just proving it can be done and I heard all the excuses as to why it wouldn’t work and these blogs are like a trip down memory lane. While I thought what we were doing was ground breaking, and largely was in the US, it was being done already in other countries.

    The study of best practices worldwide (example - Tridata) prove time and again prevention can be done, reduces costs, and saves lives of both civilian and firefighter alike. Not shocking that these same countries we speak of have almost no LODD.

    Just today we responded to a house fire that started in a toaster because the resident could not operate a fire extinguisher…. They lost their home and our firefighters were put at risk extinguishing the fire that claimed the house (also a delay in calling 911) but could have been extinguished inside the toaster if the resident (an adult now) knew PASS. Is that MY fault? NOPE! But am I thinking of ways to educate people on how to use fire extinguishers and looking for grants to provide fire extinguishers to this neighborhood while we have a teachable moment – you bet. Will I prevent 100% of the fires in the neighborhood? NOPE! Could I prevent just one? YEP! Proved that time and again. I’m not interested in preventing 100% of the fires, and I realize maybe 60% of the people could care less what I say. But if I reach just ONE person and they use what they were taught and a fire was prevented and a home and life saved…. Then I’ve done my job and my department has delivered and exceptional service. Costs? Nothing! Needed additional resources? None! Time and focus detracted from suppression training and duties? Not a second.

    Take my post for what it is worth. Our culture is sick, and people within our service make it sick. Yes we have problems to fix both operationally and prevention, but it takes educated (meaning up on current practices) professionals, not what occurs largely on these blogs. Are you the solution or the problem? I have formed my ideas on that, but that is for you to answer.
    I am left wondering why it is you believe you are the only person in the fire service concerned about preventing fires.

    You are terribly misguided.

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    No not at all! There are many people in the fire service concerned about preventing fires, and I think at the core of every firefighter, the value of prevention is solid.

    But years of tradition and culture have largely overshadowed this and instead of prevention being the focused effort of every fire department in the U.S.; it is sporadic at best. Even though departments who have done it have shown success, it is still largely a "non traditional" approach.

    Examples:

    Department "A" has an award winning prevention program and documented success in the reduction in fires with lives saved. A young new fire Chief takes over, decimates its prevention program to put more firefighters on the engine to respond to more fires, and turns the prevention department into both a "Training/Education" division responsible for public prevention and department suppression training.

    Department "B" did not do fire inspections and lost firefighters in a building that was supposed to have sprinkler systems; and reports from the investigation show those firefighters died because of failures in the building's fire protection systems due to the owner's failure to maintain them. Years later department "B" takes disciplinary action against a line officer for failure to follow departmental procedures endangering his people during a commercial fire. They then put this line officer in inspections.

    So we continue to make the same mistakes based upon culture and tradition; and when progress is not made in prevention due to misguided efforts, hands are thrown up and excuses made.

    I do not have all the answers. But I know, and we have proven, that prevention works. Deep changes need to be made in the fire service to bring about the changes we need. Where do we start? Open discussion and aggressive debates......

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    Bottom line is the fire service in the US spends an average of 1% on prevention and education and the rest of the industrialized world spends 15% or more .... and we rank towrds the bottom of per capita fire deaths.

    The suppression companies in the rest of the industrialized world spend far mpre time than most supression companies in the US .. and for thr most part they rank well ahead of us in terms of per capita fire deaths.

    In The US, prevention and inspections are seen as backwater assignments or a place to put members that seemingly can't "cut it on the street or simply choose to go there to ride out thier remaining time oin the department ..... while in the rest of the industrilzed world, prevtion is a choice assignment that quality members fight over and the command staff is required to attend college level classes to keep thier positions and be eligable for promtion in the department,

    Bottom line, prevention is not considered important in the US fire service, and it wol't change until some of the above does.
    Train to fight the fires you fight.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel Byrne View Post
    Just today we responded to a house fire that started in a toaster because the resident could not operate a fire extinguisher…. They lost their home and our firefighters were put at risk extinguishing the fire that claimed the house (also a delay in calling 911) but could have been extinguished inside the toaster if the resident (an adult now) knew PASS.
    Seriously?

    You lost a house due to a toaster fire???????

    Simply stunning....
    Co 11
    Virginia Beach FD

    Amateurs practice until they get it right; professionals practice until they cannot get it wrong. Which one are you?

    'The fire went out and nobody got hurt' is a poor excuse for a fireground critique.

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