I was browsing Backstep Firefighter today....
And I came across this piece. I can't remember if it's been posted or not, but I figured it needed to be posted again.
From Brother Firefighter Dave LeBlanc:
An excerpt from "Obligations"
There is another part of this equation that is not so simple to explain. When your department is properly funded and provided for, and you have not been beating the bushes asking for more, and yet you are still not prepared to meet you obligation.
Why aren’t you prepared? Usually it is because of either a lack of leadership, allowing the department to have incomplete policies, procedures and poor training. Or it is because somewhere along the line your leadership has decided that programs like ‘Everyone Goes Home’ were actually developed as excuses for fire departments not to do their jobs. They wear these programs as a cape or shield, insulating their firefighters from the risks associated with firefighting.
(Before the knives come out, the above statement is not an anti EGH statement. It is however an indictment of those that chooses to improperly use it to justify their unpreparedness)
And as the fire service constantly goes down the path to become safer, we must realize that some of those choices may come at the expense of our 'customers', and they have the right to know that. If you don’t tell your citizens, and you opt not to enter based on the belief no one could be alive inside, not that the conditions were untenable or beyond your capabilities, then expect to answer some hard questions on the news, in the paper and maybe in court.
If your department is unable to meet the mission they are tasked with, you have the obligation to tell those you are responsible to protect that you can't. It may not prevent the uncomfortable interviews or even the lawsuit, but it sure as hell will be defense Exhibit A.