1. #51
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    Originally posted by FFFRED

    Perhaps the reason many of your younger members are more apt to try other methods is because they are arogant enough to think in their short time that they know as much as the senior men. Perhaps when they get older they'll realize that the easiest and most profiicent way at xyz task was to do it the way the old guys said it should be done.

    FTM-PTB
    But sometimes it's the senior guys who are arrogant enough to believe that their's is the best and only way to do something - and that's a cultural thing. We always have to be alert to new possibilities. (And I'm not picking on you personally, FFFRED, I'm making a generalization.)

    On another topic, Frank Brannigan's comments about refusing an assignment are, to a point, valid. Firefighters need to be prepared to carry out orders without hesitation. On the other hand, though, the airline industry ran into the problem of the Captain's authority being absolute and unquestioned - even as the plane went down for reasons that other crew members were aware of and had the ability to correct. The airlines' answer was a concept called Crew Resource Management.

    In a nutshell, you do what the boss says, but when you see something amiss you have the right and obligation to speak up. Depending on the situation, sometimes the boss' orders stand, sometimes they get countermanded. It's a concept worth studying. How many LODD's have happened because someone didn't speak up?
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  2. #52
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    Originally posted by ullrichk

    In a nutshell, you do what the boss says, but when you see something amiss you have the right and obligation to speak up. Depending on the situation, sometimes the boss' orders stand, sometimes they get countermanded. It's a concept worth studying. How many LODD's have happened because someone didn't speak up?
    Excellent point! At the hospital where I work, I teach a class called Crucial Conversations. It is an intense 16-hour course that provides our staff valuable tools needed to effectively speak up - which is creating a culture change here. No longer is the "doctor always right". Nurses (and other staff) are EXPECTED to question unclear or potentially life-threatening directions.

    When people purposefully whithold meaning from one another, individually smart people can do collectively stupid things. For example...

    A women checked into the hospital (not mine ) to have a tonsillectomy, and the surgical team erroneously removed a portion of her foot. How could this tragedy happen. In fact, why is it that ninety-eight thousand hospital deaths each year stem from human error? In part because many health-care professionals are afraid to speak their minds. In the investigaion report from this case, it shows that no less than seven people wondered why the surgeon was working on the foot, but said nothing.
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    quote:
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Maybe a solution is to hire "non-fire" personnel for code enforcement and inspections. Hire people with talents in areas of Public Speaking, Engineering, with great attention to detail. Then these people would be "suited" for the job. Lets face it; it hard to take someone used to the stress and excitement and challenge of suppression, assign them to Prevention, and expect them to excell.
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------



    I absolutely could not disagree more with this comment. That is the whole cultural issue in a nutshell!!! Look at your job description, fire prevention is YOU! I have been a career firefighter in an industrial setting for 20 years, fires are an EVENT, when they happen its because the Fire Department failed. We don't let fires happen, we spend our day making inspections and testing systems. Obviously the municipal department can't test systems. Want a culture change? Get the apparatus on the street all day doing inspections. Spend the remaining time training, if your working 24's.. time after 2100 is yours. Maybe then, when we start to show a productive workday in the face of declining fire duty can we stop sending fire apparatus on every single EMS run so we can have something to do. Insist on doing ALL of our job and shut off the TV.
    In service inspections, public education. I'll buy that is part of my job. But you can't make me like working Mon thru Fri 9 to 5 doing re-sale and oil burner inspections. Not that it isn't part of the Fire Department's responsibility, but I am sure there is someone else who would rather do it than I. Until we come up with a way to entice people into Fire Prevention, it will always be the Red Headed Step Child. Think outside the box a bit.

    Furthermore, a clue into my shift at the station. After relieving the off going shift, a quick check of my assigned vehicle and the ambulance. Then housework and a check of the vehicle for that day of the wwek. Then training. And somewhere in there we do an average of 10 calls a day. You can't expect a fire comapny to meet a Real Estate Agent at 13:00hrs. Won't happen. And while I realize that I am getting paid for 24 hours, my primary job is to be available to protect the public.

    I think it is tradition that holds us back in many ways. Go ahead, blast at me but thats my opinion.
    I won't blast you, but some further discussion. A refusal to change and adapt holds us back. Not Tradition. The "we've always done it this way" attitude. Tradition is respecting those that have gone before us, and realizing that their sacrafice was not in vain"

    Since you bring that up Rev,, How do departments handle discipline where the officer and firefighter are in the same local? Is there a conflict where the officer may work for a union official? My department never had unionized officers (part of management) so I have never encountered it.
    In my place, the Officer handle small stuff (verbals) on a one on one basis. If the guy is written up, its up to the administration to meter out the punishment. Of course we are a smaller Department.

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    4. Empower all firefighters to stop unsafe practices;

    I have to admit, this one creates a lot more questions than some others. I was always brought up that the Officer is in charge. Now, have I ever pointed out something is amiss, sure. But his say so is final. Kinda has to be that way too. Otherwise you'll have some wicked anarchy on the fireground. What about the timid guy, not too much experience. Is he going to call the shots now?

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    I'll only add that the senior men in my house (~20rs+) have forced more doors, stretched more lines, searched more rooms, climbed more ladders than I have. In all likelyhood they made the same mistakes and encountered the same problems I have. The reason they pass on the knowledge they have gained on to us is because they don't want us to work any harder than we have to. They also know XYZ methods work the best.

    It isn't arogance on the senior mens part...it is expeirence. There is a world of difference.

    Brothers,

    We are not talking about medical procedures in a sterile hospital environment. And we aren't sitting in a cockpit pulling levers, punching knobs, and reading manuals.

    We are talking about taking a line down a hallway. An officer with his nozzle team pushing into a cellar fire doesn't have time to consult the manual or have a decision by commitee.

    Perhaps most of the problem comes from these departments that make the officer the back-up man or part of the Inside team that carries tools. If more of you would stop making excuses on why the officer must be the back-up man or why he must carry the Irons... and look for solutions and arguments that will enable you to have better staffing and thus enable the officer to do what he was placed there to do...supervise and ensure the safety of his company, everyone would be better off.

    If your dept doesn't want to tackle this subject, the rest of the fluff contanied in that report won't matter anyway. Don't worry about fire prevention and fire sprinklers because most of that is out of your hands and will take years to have an effect. None of it will help you tonight when you report for duty at your 3 man engine and 2 man understaffed Truck Co. Focus on getting better staffing and better procedures and training. That will increase the chances of everyone going home...firemen and civilians.

    FTM-PTB
    Last edited by FFFRED; 07-09-2004 at 03:44 PM.

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    Sampson my friend,At 37 years on the line I AM the Senior man and the Senior Line boss.I HAVE a bunch of genx or what I call 5/30's on my roster,5 years on,think they have thirty years experience.They CONSTANTLY think they have a better way or know more about the trade than I do.Things I can tell you;I may have crawled up out of the tar pits but I didn't get to where I am by having my head in dark places.Being inherently lazy but sworn to do a job you DON'T have an easier SAFE way to do the job because if it existed I'd know about it.I'm a state certified municipal fire instructor and active at both the training and working line side of the business.In 16 years of training new help I have been beaten getting "dressed"by the students three times.They DID NOT beat me the following week.I ask nothing of my personnel that I wouldn't do myself but I take a very hard line and dim view of anyone who disobeys a directive or shirks their duty.I agree with FFred that GEN X is a PROBLEM;some will respond to training and guidance but MANY do not.Those that will not are destined to become badly injured or killed. This is NOT a user friendly business.I have no problem with new ideas,equipment,or tactics as long as it IMPROVES my working conditions.If you spend any time studying fire service history you'll discover that about every twenty or thirty years we flip flop right back to a previous method(smooth bore vs combi comes to mind)Old methods are not necessarily bad,new methods are not necessarily good,One needs to blend the two to maximise the potential of your individual organizations.I've seen a lot of changes in my third of a century and I'm seeing a lot more injuries in this "new"gear than I ever saw in the old,There is a lot of reasons for that and my Dept has answered almost all of them.So "new"isn't always good. T.C.

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    Originally posted by FFFRED
    We are not talking about medical procedures in a sterile hospital environment. And we aren't sitting in a cockpit pulling levers, punching knobs, and reading manuals.

    We are talking about taking a line down a hallway. An officer with his nozzle team pushing into a cellar fire doesn't have time to consult the manual or have a decision by commitee.
    I agree with you 100%!

    I don't advocate insubordination! The officer is the one in charge and is responsible for giving directives that everyone under him should follow and in order for him to give the best directives he needs to have ALL of the information.

    Many times errors are made not because of bad judgement, but because the officer didn't have all of the vital information.
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    Default Um 101...

    Sorry to break it to you, but if you're 37, you are a member of GENERATION X
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    I've seen many suggestions posted here on steps we can take to reduce/eliminate firefighter deaths. I believe it would be helpful if we all started out on a level playing field...and took a look at some statistics. Ray posted a chart showing the breakdown, however, here it is in hard numbers. If we learn WHAT is killing our brothers..only then can we work towards solutions. Many of you are right up to speed on the stats...but for those of you who don't know, I offer the relative stats from 2003.
    ************************************************
    Firefighter on-duty deaths increased 11 percent in 2003 over the previous year, despite advances in technology and safety equipment. With 29 deaths, wildland firefighters suffered the highest casualties since 1994.

    One hundred and eleven firefighters died while on duty in 2003, an 11% increase over the 100 deaths recorded in 2002, according to figures released by the U.S. Fire Administration. With 29 of those deaths in wildland fires, it was the deadliest year for wildland firefighters since 1994, when the Storm King killed 14 firefighters in Colorado, bringing the year's total to 36.

    Heart attack continues to be the leading cause of death for firefighters, killing 53 firefighters last year, followed by trauma, which took 44 firefighter lives.

    According to a review of the deaths, 36 states and Guam saw at least one firefighter die last year, and 20 firefighters died in seven multiple fatality incidents:

    Eight Oregon firefighters were killed in a vehicle accident as they returned from fighting wildland fires;
    Two Memphis firefighters died while fighting a fire in a business in June;
    Two Idaho firefighters were killed in July when a wildland fire spread quickly and trapped them;
    Two firefighters died as a result of a helicopter crash in Arizona in July;
    Two Ohio firefighters were killed while operating at a silo fire in October;
    Two Nevada-based firefighters were killed in an October airtanker crash in California; and
    Two Oregon firefighters died in a helicopter crash in October.
    Volunteer, seasonal, and part-time firefighters accounted for 80 deaths; full-time career firefighters, comprised 30 deaths (27 percent) in 2003.

    The majority of firefighter fatalities in 2003, 59%, occurred in relation to a fire or EMS incident.

    Sixty percent of the firefighters who died while on-duty in 2003 suffered fatal injuries or illnesses in emergency situations.

    Twenty-two firefighters died as they responded to an emergency or returned from one, many of these deaths involved vehicle collisions.

    Eleven deaths occurred during training.

    source: Fire Chief Magazine

    *********************************************

    Now....how many of these deaths could have been prevented by physical fitness programs and/or diet changes?

    How many of these deaths could have been prevented by supplying our aerial firefighters with modern, state of the art aircraft?

    How many of these deaths could have been prevented by the elimination of macho fire instruction techniques in our academies?

    How many were due to errors made by those in charge?

    How many could have been prevented by simple adjustments in driving habits?

    Does tradition play a role in most of these deaths?

    Okay....on with the discussion my friends. This firefighter appreciates this thread tremendously...and I thank you all for speaking up.
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    Thumbs up

    I like the way FFFRED thinks!!!

    FFFRED...contact me off list if you get the chance...

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    Default Some real problems with real simple solutions

    IACOJRev,

    You make an excellent point:

    Many times errors are made not because of bad judgement, but because the officer didn't have all of the vital information.
    From my past experince in understaffed depts, I think much of this has to do with the fact that officers, can't be officers. They can't supervise and they can't look at the big picture. They are often the back-up man or door man feeding hose and not looking where the nozzle man or team is going or what they are getting into... or they are pulling celinings and not looking at the structure and its condition.

    Why is that?..I feel part comes from a culture brought to us by safety susies who are long on formal book education and short on real world expeirence. The promotion systems are based on who ya know and who ya blow instead of what you know. They are based on who is less threatening to that chiefs personal kingdom. Therefore you don't have promotions based on merit and fittness for the job. Just look at the disasterous results in Chicago, I'm sure most of the brothers there are looking forward to a knowledge based promotions and not a political patronage test.

    The other part comes from the fact that I see to many Chiefs pushing for sprinklers in new construction yet that doesn't do anything for the fires they will continue to have in older construction. They don't campaign even 1/10th as hard for adequate staffing or even having at least 1 Truck Company. This is all despite the fact that 90% of their city isn't sprinklered and probably won't be.

    Perhaps it is because they are A@% puppets for the Mayor or perhaps they don't have much if any experince in it therefore their ignorance leads them to fear the concept and what it entails.

    I know this can be common in growing depts(typically suburban) that start out small bedroom communities and now finding themselves a midsize dept.

    From personal experience I had chiefs who thought all truckies had prison tatto's and all they did was cause needless damage and swore and drank to much. They would say this isn't NY, Chicago, SanFran (insert large city here). And it all stemmed from the fact they never have even bothered to learn what Truck Companies do in those cities...they just made assumptions. (and bad ones at that)

    When officers are allowed to standback and suppervise, when Battalion Chiefs are allowed to focus on the strategy instead of writting down responding companies on the 2nd alarm and answering dispatch radio because they don't have a chiefs aide, when promotions are based on experience and relevant job knowledge and not how many degrees you have and how well your interview went(usually translates to: do you or do you not agree with the chief), then and only then will you see an reduction in injuries and deaths.

    Is anyone else sick of Chiefs who state it is ok that they reduce staffing because of newer codes, fewer fires, and Fire prevention...while numerically fires are down, and prevention and codes reduce the fires in new structures it does nothing for the majority of your existing infrastructure. If they came out tommorow and said all of NYC buildings and houses must be sprinklered...do you think I'll never go to another fire?? Does that justify a reduction in the staffing? (Hint: the answer is NO)

    That is the culture I see that needs changing...the leadership vacuum that permits Criminally low staffing, the culture that Engine and Ladder Cos. officers must perform firemens duties and not supervise. Thats what they are paid the big bucks for right? Change that and many problems will clear themselves up.

    FTM-PTB

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    Mikey;Readjust your math.37 years ON THE LINE,not on the earth my friend.Been drinking Chicago water again?Hehe T.C.
    Last edited by Rescue101; 07-09-2004 at 09:57 PM.

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    Fred brings up some good points.

    Why do we bother to promote guys to an Officer position, when they still do the same job?

    2nd guy on the line, in some cases on the knob. My feelings have always been that the Officers job is to keep an eye on the "big" picture and keep me safe. Don't tell me how to use the knob, I should know that or be selling used cars.

    One problem though. I can guarantee you my Town will not significantly increase manpower any time in the near future. Its not in the cards. They would rather pay me OT, than hire the guys to do the job. So where do we go from here?

    More culture change. The smaller departments needs to focus ever more on safety in their operations. It sucks, but there is no easy answer.

    There are many, many things that we can do to increase our safety, regardless of staffing. While I agree its an issue, lets figure out how to be safer regardless of how many are there.

    101,

    Damn, you are a dinosuar!!! Like your style though.

    NJ,

    Nice stats Ed, thanks. Seems like a good chunk of of guys would still be here if not for the donuts. Ok, maybe thats unfair, but Health and Fitness is a big part of the equation.

    Dave

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    hfd66truck,

    I'm sure there are many more like you where the public don't understand what they are really getting if thier house is on fire. (wasn't that supposed to be part of NFPA 1710?)

    Perhaps depts in your situation should team up 2 engines to stretch and operate 1 line. Getting a properly positioned and operating handline in place as fast as possible would be more beneficial than 2 or 3 that are having a hard time advancing around corners, have too many kinks, etc.

    I know many people have this idea that they should stretch as many handlines as possible. Perhaps focusing on getting that one line in place and with at least a nozzleman, back-up, door man, and control man and an officer you will be able to efficiently cover more of the structure and move the line more easily instead of two lines clumslily advanced with 2 men on each.

    Just an idea.

    FTM-PTB

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    Let's look at these facts.

    Calendar year 2003
    111 Total LODD
    53 firefighters died from heart attacks.
    22 died responding to or returning from alarms.
    75 total FF's died from just these two factors.

    Nearly 3/4 of all the firefighter deaths last year...

    Now....where do you think we should start our efforts to eliminate LODDs?
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    I think the heart attack stat can be misleading to some degree.

    While some can be attributed to old vollies (when I say old I mean those 70-80+yr old ones)
    Some can be attributed to poor health or genetic factors

    I think a contributing factor that is often overlooked is, did low staffing contribute to this individual being overworked and placing undue stress on the heart.

    It is pretty simple when you have only two guys on the handline they are going to have to work quite a bit more than if there was a 3rd member to feed hose around corners. Could this stress from low staffing and that additional stress created by encapsulation exacerbate any existing problems.

    I seem to remember Boston found that the bunker gear caused more cardiac problems than it prevented burns, thus creating its contriverisal turnout gear policy.

    I think there are some similarities between this subject and the injury rates of 3,4 & 5 member Engine companies experienced in the studies referenced in the formation of NFPA 1710.

    Some interesting things to consider.

    FTM-PTB

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    Excellent points FFFRED. No doubt, staffing shortages contribute to the problem.

    I came upon this ten year study:

    The USFA Firefighter Fatality Retrospective Study: 1990-2000

    The key findings of the study include:


    The leading cause of death for firefighters is heart attack – 44%. Death from trauma, including internal and head injuries, is the second leading cause of death – 27%. Asphyxia and burns account for 20% of firefighter fatalities.

    Each year in the United States, approximately 100 firefighters are killed while on duty and tens of thousands are injured. Although the number of firefighter fatalities has steadily decreased over the past 20 years, the incidence of firefighter fatalities per 100,000 incidents has actually risen over the last 5 years, with 1999 having the highest rate of firefighter fatalities per 100,000 incidents since 1978.

    Firefighters under the age of 35 are more likely to be killed by traumatic injuries than they are to die from medical causes (e.g., heart attack, stroke). After age 35, the proportion of deaths due to traumatic injuries decreases, and the proportion of deaths due to medical causes rises steadily.

    Since 1984, motor vehicle collisions have accounted for between 20 and 25% of all firefighter fatalities, annually. One quarter of the firefighters who died in MVCs were killed in private/personally owned vehicles. Following POVs, the apparatus most often involved in fatal collisions were water tankers, engines/pumpers, and airplanes. More firefighters are killed in tanker collisions than in engines and ladders combined.

    About 27% of fatalities killed in MVCs were ejected from the vehicle at the time of the collision. Only 21%of firefighters were reportedly wearing their seatbelts prior to the collision.

    Approximately 60% of all firefighter fatalities were individuals over the age of 40, and one-third were over the age of 50. Nationwide, firefighters over the age of 40 make up 46% of the fire service, with those over 50 accounting for only 16% of firefighters. About 40% of volunteer firefighters are over the age of 50, compared to 25% of career firefighters.

    The majority of firefighter fatalities –57%– were members of local or municipal volunteer fire agencies (including combination departments, which are composed of both career and volunteer personnel).

    Full-time career firefighters account for 33% of firefighter fatalities. Numerically more volunteer firefighters are killed than career personnel, yet career personnel lose their lives at a rate disproportionate to their representation in the fire service.

    In many fire departments, EMS calls account for between 50 and 80% of their emergency call volume. These EMS incidents result in only 3% of firefighter fatalities. Trauma (internal/head) accounts for the deaths of 50% of firefighters who were involved in EMS operations at the time of their fatal injury. Another 38% involved in EMS operations died from heart attack.
    ____________________________________________

    Nearly one quarter of the deaths....resulted from motor vehicle collisions.

    Buckle up. Drive carefully. It's a start.

    The complete report may be viewed and downloaded from the USFA web site at:
    http://www.usfa.fema.gov/inside-usfa/nfdc/fa-220.shtm
    Last edited by NJFFSA16; 07-09-2004 at 08:03 PM.
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    Has anyone seen any kind of studies/stats on heart attacks related to staffing?

    From an NFPA study:

    On the fire ground and off, heart attacks are the leading killer of firefighters. In 2002, 37 on-duty firefighters died of heart attacks: 13 firefighters suffered heart attacks on the fire ground, eight while traveling to or from a fire or other emergency, seven while engaged in normal administrative activities, six at non-fire emergencies, two during training activities, and one while cleaning up after a tornado. In addition, two firefighters had strokes during training activities and one suffered an aneurysm at a medical call.
    The numbers alone do not tell the story. We need to know what other factors were involved, e.g. stress, age, staffing, medical history, etc.
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    Davey,I look at it this way.Dinos like me keep the "pups" healthy.And I'm not quite ready to go turn over into oil.I'm still learnin' and you guys are helpin'.I'm still up for a good charge in when the "pups" are trying to "cockroach" but I'm also smart enough to know when to go outside.All the issues we've discussed are valid but circunstances will only change when "we" collectively WAKE UP! Every now and again the big boss and I go head to head.It usually isn't pretty but the aftermath in every case to date has been safer/better operations for the crew.The most valuable asset I have is my people and THEY are my primary concern.We all deal with staffing cuts every day but I counter that with increased alarms when necessary.Many hands make easy work,overworked,tired FFs are dangerous and accident prone.Not for me,thanks.Too bad it's so hard to sell this program.I'll retire when we hit 0 lodd or half a century whichever occurs first.T.C.

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    Default T.C. 1000 APLOGIES

    Sorry about that. I guess I proved your point..DAMN slackers
    IAFF-IACOJ PROUD

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    Originally posted by FFFRED
    Samson,

    You can have your opinion but I feel it is greatly misguided.

    Exactly what is wrong with tradition? Tradition is the the passing down of elements of a culture from generation to generation, especially by oral communication.

    I get a feeling many of you denounce tradition without really having a clue about what you are talking about.

    I gaurantee every one of your depts has a tradition... whether it is
    cooking breakfast every Saturday as a company...or giving the Chauffuers seat to the senior man, or the method in which you decide who is to wash the dishes. The social culture of your dept, that is all tradition.

    FTM-PTB
    Sixteen initiatives came out of the summit. Briefly, they are:

    1. Define and advocate the need for cultural change related to safety, leadership, management and personal responsibility;

    The number one initiative of the summit was the need for cultural change.

    You say yourself: The social culture of your dept, that is all tradition.

    When you add up your statments and the summits number one initiative it ends up being tradition that needs to change.

    IMO most of what you mentioned has nothing to do with traditon. Who rides where, who works when, who goes where at the fire ground... That is not tradition, that is SOPs and management.
    -Brotherhood: I don't know half of you half as well as I should like; and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve.
    -Mistakes: It could be that the purpose of you life is to serve as a warning to others.

    -Adversity: That which does not kill me postpones the inevitable.

    -Despair: Its always darkest before it goes Pitch Black.

  22. #72
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    Originally posted by ChiefReason
    Some of you are confusing history with tradition.
    Firefighters dying in the line of duty is part of our fire service history. Firefighters have been dying since the day Nero set fire to Rome. In this country, it has been since Ben Franklin formed the first volunteer fire department.

    CR
    So what about the core issues?

    Drinking and the fire service, bars in firehalls? Tradition or History? It still goes on so what would it be?

    Riding unbuckled in fire apparatus or standing up riding fire apparatus? Tradition or History? It also still goes on.

    These are of course cultural issues that need to become history. It could be said, given that tradition is where the culture of the fire service comes from, that the tradition needs to die so firefighters dont.

    But thats just my opinion and its probly very misguided since I am an arrogant <30 something that thinks I might have a logical thought...
    -Brotherhood: I don't know half of you half as well as I should like; and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve.
    -Mistakes: It could be that the purpose of you life is to serve as a warning to others.

    -Adversity: That which does not kill me postpones the inevitable.

    -Despair: Its always darkest before it goes Pitch Black.

  23. #73
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    Some it seems, might have misunderstood the concept of tradition.

    While the culture is part of Tradition and is passed down through the years, it isn't the only part of tradition.

    Sampson, Based on your comments it seems you feel only bad things represent tradition. All you list is some unfortunate issues we must confront. While a certian practice is tradition and perhaps should be discontinued that doesn't equate to having "tradition" in itself being a bad thing.

    For you to disassociate fireground tactics and procedures from tradition is shortsighted.

    How do you think these procedures where created...did some chief just sit down one day and write Ladders 3, or Engine Co. Ops Ch6. Where did they get thier information from. What did they base these procedures on?

    Originally they were passed on orally from senior man to junior man. Whatever it was it was tested again and again by fireman after fireman at many fires untill it was shown to be a proven and safe tactic. At some point it became the traditional method or proceedure for a certain task and was put to paper.

    The safest way to the roof of a tennement is in the following order, Adjoining bldg., aerial ladder, fire escape. I'm sure that was passed from truckie to truckie by word of mouth for many years before it was placed into a procedural manual.

    The way I was shown how to perform the control position during standpipe operations, was from a senior man who when he got on 20+ yrs ago was shown the same way by a senior man how to dump the bag and what to do. And as a probie that senior man was shown what to do...and so on and so on.

    I've been shown techniques for easily tying knots for hoisting hose, or determining whether a well hole is big enough for a hose, that aren't in any of our Volumes of procedural manuals. It is passed on by oral tradition.

    And yes traditionally the senior man on the backstep in my Engine gets the Knob if he so chooses.

    And tradtionally the Truck senior man on the backstep gets the OVM.

    I'm pretty sure none of those tradtions will change.

    It has nothing to do with Management or SOPs or whatever. It isn't stuff in the books. It is passed on down through the years as a verbal tradition.

    FTM-PTB

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    More random thoughts:

    1. Add the fire fighters killed during training and it brings it up to 86 preventable deaths

    2. Fixing the leadership vacuum won’t “help you tonight” either. The civil service system allows gutless, spineless, wimps with poor tactical knowledge to be promoted. It always has and it always will. It will take as long to change that fact as it will to change the fire service culture.

    3. There will be a dramatic reduction in fire fighter deaths if we caused a dramatic reduction in fires.

    4. Most fire fighters do not actively condone aggressive fire prevention because they don’t want to stop fires.

    5. Turnout gear does not cause heart attacks. A FF who is out of shape or has cardiac disease under the turnout gear causes heart attacks.

    6. Part of the culture change should include not allowing 75 year olds to fight fire.

    7. Most of the problem with “tradition” and “history” is that we NEVER, EVER learn from our mistakes.

  25. #75
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    The most valuable asset I have is my people and THEY are my primary concern. We all deal with staffing cuts every day but I counter that with increased alarms when necessary.
    You know, your first sentence could very well be the motto for this whole thing. Firefighters are an assett, and they need to come first. How many places worry more about scratching the new engine than they do about safe and effective fireground operations? Not to say they are putting the trucks first, rather saying we have been conditioned into accepting injuries and deaths as "part of the job". Wake up folks.....1 injury is too many.

    Look at the stats posted by Ed. Even if you take away the 70 year olds and the genetic heart risks, there are still too may guys having heart attacks. Why? Donuts and one arm recliner exercises. (Do you think the donut industry will come after me?) This job requires strength and STAMINA. Too often we accept the big fellas as OK, because we rationalize that we need strong guys to help out. Did I mention mandatory refresher training before? What about mandatory physical fitness.

    The motor vehicle deaths are mind boggling as well as preventable. Slower responses, seatbelts, no DUI..these should solve some of the problems.

    How about strict fines as well as discipline for Motor Vehicle Violations? Or not letting a Junior Operator with a license for six months "respond" to the station or call.

    Dave

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