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  1. #61
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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.


  2. #62
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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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  3. #63
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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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  4. #64
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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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  5. #65
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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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  6. #66
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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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  7. #67
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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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  8. #68
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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...

  9. #69
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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.

  12. #72
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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.

  13. #73
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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.

  15. #75
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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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    Well if you note the significant delay in calling 911, and the construction of the home, it would make a little more sense - but still hard to believe. Google poptart fires, as we did after this fire, and you will be surprised.

    But yes, the nearest fire station was within a mile of the home, was on scene in less than a minute, but the fire had already spread throughout the attic area in a home that had so many remodels it had three roofs (not uncommon in this area) and the fire was unreachable from below and we weren't putting anybody on the roof with what we had on arrival. What looked like a single story residential was actually a double wide, with additions, and construction to make it look like a regular home.

    If the owner knew how to use an extinguisher we would never have been called. If the neighbor who was summoned for help had called 911 before trying a bucket brigade and pulling a garden hose we would have been able to save the home. But...

    All educational issues....

    News story: http://www.yourislandnews.com/2011/1...mily-homeless/

  17. #77
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel Byrne View Post
    Well if you note the significant delay in calling 911, and the construction of the home, it would make a little more sense - but still hard to believe. Google poptart fires, as we did after this fire, and you will be surprised.

    But yes, the nearest fire station was within a mile of the home, was on scene in less than a minute, but the fire had already spread throughout the attic area in a home that had so many remodels it had three roofs (not uncommon in this area) and the fire was unreachable from below and we weren't putting anybody on the roof with what we had on arrival. What looked like a single story residential was actually a double wide, with additions, and construction to make it look like a regular home.

    If the owner knew how to use an extinguisher we would never have been called. If the neighbor who was summoned for help had called 911 before trying a bucket brigade and pulling a garden hose we would have been able to save the home. But...

    All educational issues....

    News story: http://www.yourislandnews.com/2011/1...mily-homeless/
    Most fires are started by causes that are "educational issues", therefore they can be prevented. While in some areas, delivering these messages can be a challenge, they can be delivered. And delivered in the right format, most folks will pay attention to them.

    In a career department, delivering these messages takes staff = funding. In a volunteer department, there is a significant time investment required to locate and train volunteers for the prevention function, as well as both prepare and deliver the messages. In both situations, it takes a commitment on the part of the leadership to determine that public education and prevention is as important as suppression and will receive a commitment by the organization, both and time and money, to deliver on that commitment.

    Are there departments that make that commitment? Yes. Are there enough of them? No.

    Unfortunately FWD's attitude is present in the fire service. "Not enough people will listen so why should we take the time and money" or "Just invest it in suppression as it's easier to respond to the fires than it is to change how people behave".

    Until the majority of the fire service is bathed of that attitude, there will always be an uphill battle when it comes to the role of prevention v. suppression.

    By the way, we rolled on 9 structure fires this year, continuing the downward trend from 24 just 5 years ago. Silly me, it must just be dumb luck..... It sure can't be prevention and education.
    Train to fight the fires you fight.

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    Why the f--- do you accept the fact that you have to rob from peter in suppression to fund paul the "educator" - if there isnt enougn $ to fund both to do an adequate job. Work together and get the funding. I seem to detect some animosity toward the suppression end from the "prevention" guys. In my opinion suppression and prevention should not operate as different enities.
    ?

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    Thats the way it is anytime two or more programs are funded from the same pot of money. Sure, sometimes you can get a bigger pot and both benefit, but that isn't an option at the local government level across most of the country right now.

  20. #80
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    By the way, we rolled on 9 structure fires this year, continuing the downward trend from 24 just 5 years ago. Silly me, it must just be dumb luck..... It sure can't be prevention and education.
    So next year when it goes up to 10 structure fires you'll blame prevention and education, right?
    Last edited by ChiefKN; 01-03-2012 at 09:22 AM.
    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.

    "The last thing I want to do is hurt you. But it's still on the list."

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