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Thread: Lt. Ray hits another home run!

  1. #621
    Forum Member
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    May 2008


    Quote Originally Posted by captnjak View Post
    I've got to say I don't much like the analogy between combat and firefighting. I believe it is an apples and oranges situation. Yes, fire ground commanders know there is a possibility of firefighters dying but it is really an abstract piece of knowledge. They don't really EXPECT firefighters to die. Military commanders not only expect it but pretty much KNOW it's going to happen. There is a world of difference. Firefighters die at the rate of about three deaths per 100,000 fires, with almost 3/4 of them being cardiac or MVA while responding. I'm not dismissing those deaths as less worthy or important, but these are not part of the hazard an IC expects when he orders firefighters into a burning structure. I don't know the rate at which veterans are killed in combat, but I suspect it is significantly more common than our firefighting deaths.
    I certainly didn't mean to imply that the the fire service is expecting our folks to die. We are not in the killing or dying business for sure.

    I will say that I believe there are more similarities between the fireground and the battlefield than differences. If you've ever heard Jason Brezler speak, you may agree.

    Quote Originally Posted by FyredUp View Post
    I don't think we are supposed to take the analogy directly as meaning to send men to their death as firefighters. I think the point is simply this, if you are not willing as a fireground officer to send firefighters into harms way to attempt to rescue trapped civilians, or in an attempt to extinguish the fire, you probably don't belong in a leadership role. I am not saying we order people to make suicidal charges into building fully involved or on the verge of collapse. I am saying if an officer is unwilling to send firefighters into life viable rescue situations, or into fire conditions where we can make a difference and save a structure, they have no business at all being in that position.
    This is inline with my thought process.

    There clearly is a mindset out there that is paralyzed by the thought of our people being injured or killed on an incident. This paralysis prevents a manager from making educated decisions to fulfill our mission. These folks are not leaders because they are not prepared to live with risk and consequences.

  2. #622
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    Join Date
    May 2013


    It appears that we agree more than we disagree. I posted mostly in response to the paragraph you quoted from the book. It was, in my opinion, not truly representative of the mindset of a fire ground IC. There is a world of difference between Knowing that a fatality COULD happen and knowing that a fatality WILL happen. Aside from that I would agree there are many similarities between the military and the fire service.

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