I saw several folks posted their 2020 “wishes” as far as the fire service etc. One was a hope that we all get along better and be nicer. Shut up.
Another one was zero LODD’s-it’s a good goal but impossible to attain. Sometimes we die when we clearly should not-and did not have to. Career paid or Volunteer.
Sometimes we die while genuinely and heroically attempting to save a life. Although it may be a rare occurrence, regardless, we have no option but to always be prepared for “that” run. Prepared as in being as fit, trained, disciplined and equipped to minimize our risk to maximize their chance of us saving them.
In recent years, we most often die traumatically on roadways due to, people not paying attention, distracted or being under the influence. It’s never been more dangerous operating on roadways than it is now.
And as far as preventing medical LODD’s-everyone knows what to do. Get an annual physical. Enjoy a salad. Go for a walk. And even then-bad stuff happens to good people. But a personal and organizational effort can be made to measurably matter.
And we still see firefighters un-masked, breathing smoke, not cleaning the crap off etc. Solution? Disciplined leaders and self disciplined Firefighters. At this stage, probably the best bet is to visit a Firefighter in a cancer center. We all know the steps that can minimize exposure. WTF (why) would anyone not wanna avoid cancer?
Either way-every fire officer, chief and Firefighter can own and significantly change the above stuff by focusing on our own little world-that’s where we can always have the most impact. Career paid or Volunteer.
For example-I am still surprised and sometimes shocked that there are fire officers and fire chiefs who have no formal training related to command and control of the fireground.
Sure-many are experienced-but what “qualifies” so and so to command an incident?
What is the training or certification?
How often is it renewed?
To arrive first due (front right seat or command buggy) and know what to do-through training-training on the departments policies and procedures, in a systematic way, is an absolute. You know, so “A shift” doesn’t operate “their” way and “B shift” operates “their” own unique way and “C shift” allows everyone to pick what they like to do best…at a fire. Or in the case of volunteers-the run goes based upon who turns out. There needs to be a system
A system so we don’t have the first due engine doing what “they” want and the chief in charge wants something else-and a screaming match ensues. Of course, that still happens. It happens when there is no “game plan” (and no practice on that plan) where the coach, assistant coaches, (chiefs) quarterback (company officers) and players all work off their “own” game plan. Wanna bet on that outcome?
Command training (for chiefs and company officers) has been a favorite subject for many years. It begs the gamble related to you betting on a team with lame coaching, non-existent or “traditional” policy and procedure-or getting on a plane where the captain and co pilots just kind of do what they want to do-and there are no common, trained upon procedures.
What is the outcome when we-the FIRE department operate without some of the above? Well-it can lead to the avoidable injury or loss of civilians, firefighters and property. Not what our goal is supposed to be. Sometimes unavoidable? Of course. Sometimes clearly avoidable-absolutely.
And-sometimes someone gets an attorney involved. Yuck. …”I wish we would have done this that or the other thing….”
Fire department legal proceedings are expensive, insanely time-consuming and absolutely emotionally draining, and they can cause permanent reputation damages. Considering these risks, you might expect fire service leaders to have an excellent grasp on why fire departments get sued. You might.
Yet fire department liability—especially differences in volunteer vs. career departments—is not well understood….but is making headlines everyday.
A FREE LEXIPOL WEBINAR FROM FIRE CHIEF & ATTORNEY CURT VARONE:
CAREER AND/OR VOLUNTEER FIREFIGHTER, FIRE OFFICER, FIRE CHIEF & FIRE DEPARTMENTS…. THE “REAL” LIABILITY.
Thursday, January 16, at 1 pm ET
In an upcoming webinar, Attorney & Veteran Fire Chief Curt Varone will share his fascinating findings from more than 7,500 legal proceedings filed against career and volunteer fire departments.
Curt’s presentation will absolutely help fire service members of all ranks better understand the legal risks facing them—and help focus on how to prevent such risks from taking root in their fire departments.
Curt will present to you:
• Analysis from an exclusive database of fire department legal proceedings from the last 10 years.
• The top four reasons career and volunteer fire departments face legal proceedings.
• Key differences between career and volunteer fire department liability.
• Best practices that help protect departments and firefighters from becoming involved in legal proceedings.
WHEN: The webinar will be held Thursday, January 16, at 1 pm ET/10 am PT. Registration is free.
BUT if you can’t make it? Register anyway and Lexipol will send you a recording after the event.
And finally…the best to you and yours for a happy, healthy and peaceful 2020. Hope to see you soon, be it locally or at FDIC:
– Tuesday Morning Classroom Session.
– Wednesday afternoon “Big Room” w/Gordon Graham & Bobby Halton
….or at the FDIC Bookstore & Book Signings where we will be releasing our 3rd book:
PASS IT ON III-Making Good Progress
If you enjoyed the first two PASS IT ON books, you will really enjoy this one even more, featuring some past contributors and numerous new ones…all with GREAT ideas, thoughts and advice. Once again, the proceeds will go to the NFFF, The Chief Ray Downey Scholarship & the FF Cancer Support Network.
Take Care. Be Careful. Pass It On.