While most of our focus via The Secret List is operational firefighter survival, there are, at times, items we feel are worth sharing with you.
Free Speech. I remember first understanding it as a kid when we were taught that it comes with responsibility-such as yelling fire in a theater-unless of course the theater is on fire in which civilians should yell-but Firefighters should remain calm. Or saying pretty much whatever you want-but understanding though, that there may be consequences.
“I shouldn’t have said that.”
“I’m sorry for saying that-I didn’t mean it” (a/k/a you cant un-ring a bell)
and this favorite:
“I’m damn glad I said it and would say it again!”
With the internet and all sorts of other forms of communication, we have seen many folks get jammed up for exercising what they thought was free speech. Everyone has their own opinions about it – especially firehouse lawyers. I mean real firefighters that also went and graduated from law school. Not Firefighter 6-22 (6 months on the job w/ “22 years experience”) but ones who actually took the bar exam, passed…stuff like that.
One of my favorites is an old friend, Chief Curt Varone, who is a firehouse lawyer-in the good sense of the word. Generally. I mean, he still IS a lawyer.
Anyway, I received a copy of this excellent document that he helped put together and we are passing it on to you:
Firefighter Free Speech:
What Fire Departments Can and Can’t Do To Restrict Free Speech.
Check it out.
Take Care. Be Careful. Pass it On.
The Secret List 2/5/2018-1500 Hours