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  • #31
    While I fully agree with your premise Daniel, the reality is that there are places where the culture, the manpower and/or the funding simply does not exist for the type of prevention and community outreach programs that you advocate. that may be the case in some very underfunded large and small career departments (the rust belt and parts of the northeast come to mind), combo departments and volunteer departments.

    Now understand that I have been very, very involved in public education since the late 1980's. I have introduced multiple programs in multiple departments as both the department's fire prevention officer, and in one case. an invited consultant.. I started teaching (for free) public education and juvenile firesetting intervention at regional fire schools and any department that would have me over for a drill night in the very early 90's. I teach pub ed and JFS intervention for the National Fire Academy. And I am very involved with the state arson and fire prevention association. So yes, I fully believe in the value of community outreach and public education.

    That being said, I do understand that there are places where it's, right or wrong, not part of the culture. I do understand that there are places where staffing - full-time or volunteer - simply does not exist for it to happen. And there are communities where the opportunities for outreach are very, very limited. Is that the way that I would like it to be? no, but as folks who advocate we also need to understand that there are places where it likely will not happen, no matter how much we want it to.

    Sure, we can try to push it though seminars, articles, presentations at state firefighters associations conventions, through state fire chief's associations and probably another 50 different ways, but in the end, there will be places that end up doing very little outreach, and yes, that's unfortunate.

    My point is, that as an advocate, we have to understand that we can't always push what we want, or what we feel a department should do, onto them. As a instructor for the state fire service training agency here in LA, I have learned that. I often see things that I consider unsafe, unwise or simply out of step with the times, and while I may make subtle comments during training, I have learned that being to direct, will at times, create issues, especially since I likely will be assigned another class at that department in the future. And often there are manpower and financial limitaio0ns that I am not aware of that force them to operate in that way.

    And it's the same with pub ed and community outreach. We cam try to subtly move them forward, but in the end how far they decide to move forward is a local decision made by local officers based on local culture, manpower and resources.
    Train to fight the fires you fight.

    Comment


    • #32
      Well this may be where this is all going wrong. My postings are not intended to push anything. I truly believe, and your own history proves, ONE person can make changes and a difference. One motivated person can overcome challenges and bring about change, and in our line of work, that equates to lives saved.

      So when I offer a challenging question as I did here, and people post things in the negative, but offer little to no explanation, or an explanation I have known to be overcome in the past, then I reply with solutions or differing opinions. My intent is for those out there, like yourself, who want to make changes find the solutions, ideas, support, and motivation, to attempt to do so. Whether they actually can and will make that change I cannot say, but I like to think I have given them all the tools to get started.

      So by offering solutions or challenges to negative posts in no way is "pushing" any idea. That is a perception and subjective. To not offer solutions or alternative thoughts and ideas, and simply remain silent, goes against the very nature of the firefighter. To be perceived as "pushing" an idea is again subjective to the receiver.

      That which goes unchallenged goes unchanged, and if those advocating for progress in the fire service folded their tents at the slightest opposition without standing their ground on facts and supporting thoughts and ideas, where would we be? The combustion engine was fought by firefighters and we've all heard the "leather lungs" arguments against the use of SCBAs. That list could go on and on.

      So in summary if what I am offering, again based upon personal expierence, knowledge, research, does not apply to a fire department then simply ignore it. If you reply with a perceived problem I will offer an alternative thought or solution. Not to "push" any ideas, to insult anyone, or argue for the sake of arguing. My hope is my posts will help someone out there accomplish their goals in prevention - which is th title of this forum. Maybe creat another LaFireEducator......

      Comment


      • #33
        Originally posted by Daniel Byrne View Post
        Well this may be where this is all going wrong. My postings are not intended to push anything. I truly believe, and your own history proves, ONE person can make changes and a difference. One motivated person can overcome challenges and bring about change, and in our line of work, that equates to lives saved.

        So when I offer a challenging question as I did here, and people post things in the negative, but offer little to no explanation, or an explanation I have known to be overcome in the past, then I reply with solutions or differing opinions. My intent is for those out there, like yourself, who want to make changes find the solutions, ideas, support, and motivation, to attempt to do so. Whether they actually can and will make that change I cannot say, but I like to think I have given them all the tools to get started.

        So by offering solutions or challenges to negative posts in no way is "pushing" any idea. That is a perception and subjective. To not offer solutions or alternative thoughts and ideas, and simply remain silent, goes against the very nature of the firefighter. To be perceived as "pushing" an idea is again subjective to the receiver.

        That which goes unchallenged goes unchanged, and if those advocating for progress in the fire service folded their tents at the slightest opposition without standing their ground on facts and supporting thoughts and ideas, where would we be? The combustion engine was fought by firefighters and we've all heard the "leather lungs" arguments against the use of SCBAs. That list could go on and on.

        So in summary if what I am offering, again based upon personal expierence, knowledge, research, does not apply to a fire department then simply ignore it. If you reply with a perceived problem I will offer an alternative thought or solution. Not to "push" any ideas, to insult anyone, or argue for the sake of arguing. My hope is my posts will help someone out there accomplish their goals in prevention - which is th title of this forum. Maybe creat another LaFireEducator......
        I understand your passion and your drive for public education and getting out in the community as often and in as many ways as possible. We both have it. One day I would love to meet you and share ideas over a beer, a meal or whatever.

        But there are times that to some, you may come off as a little pushy. Again, here on the forums, that can easily be misinterpreted as it just may be your passion for public education. We all know that often written words do not come across in the same way as spoken words. And I'm sure that at times, I have come across the same way on these forums when I talk about the things that I care about, the things that I feel passionate about.

        Am I going to deny that there are departments out there that could do a whole lot more in terms of public education? No, because I see it all the time. There are departments that make excuses about time, manpower, resources and such that simply could do a whole lot more if they made a decision to tap into what they actually do have available, either within the department or within the community. And yes, to somebody like me, it is frustrating to see issues in the community that could be addressed go unaddressed. The fact is most departments, if not all, could do far more if there was a recognition within the department to see the value of getting out of the station more and there was desire by the leadership to truly embrace public education as a true cultural value and organizational goal.

        By saying that, I'm not denying that challenges do exist for many departments of all sizes and types. I have been lucky in my pub ed career that the volunteer and combination departments in which I have served as the Public Education Officer have embraced public education as a core value, and have supported the program both financially and with resources and manpower. This is especially true in my current (combination) department as to the best of my knowledge, my department is the only combination department of it's size in the state (8 full-time employees/50 volunteers) to have hired a member who's primary responsibility is public education (as well as training, pre-planning and administrative responsibilities). They also support me with a fairly respectable budget, as well as shift manpower when needed. But that's not the case in many, many places for a number of reasons, and some of them are quite valid, especially in the rural areas of the state where resources and manpower is quite thin.

        And like you, I preach public education wherever I can, and I have spurred some folks and some departments into action either through conversations or through some of the classes that I have taught. Is that because I'm some incredibly eloquent public speaker? No, but after learning about some of the resources that they do have that they may not have been aware of, they see that a public education and community awareness program is doable in their departments. There have also been times that I have been frustrated because I know the resources are there, but there is no drive by those in charge to change the status quo and get out of the station and into the community with meaningful programs, and simply not glorified show and tell or story sessions.

        So bro, I get it. I get your passion. I get your drive. I get the fact that you believe in the value of public education to both the community and the department. There are just times that maybe you need to just chill a little bit.

        By the way, do you ever make your way to FDIC? I'll be there again this year presenting a class so if you're there, maybe we can get together.
        Train to fight the fires you fight.

        Comment


        • #34
          I here ya. But how do you discuss on forums and debate without appearing pushy? Again it is subjective to the receiver. This is a prevention forum. If you post a challenge you get a reply..... and I agree the typed word and be construed many ways. But again... subjective to the receiver.

          I presented at FDIC years ago but wasn't too happy with their process. Shortly after Firehouse "recruited" me and they seem much more open and progressive. Not saying FDIC is not! Just happier at Firehouse. Would love to get up with you if possible. I am presenting at Firehouse World in Feb. Try and make the trip brother. First 5 or 6 beers on me!

          Comment


          • #35
            Originally posted by Daniel Byrne View Post
            I here ya. But how do you discuss on forums and debate without appearing pushy? Again it is subjective to the receiver. This is a prevention forum. If you post a challenge you get a reply..... and I agree the typed word and be construed many ways. But again... subjective to the receiver.

            I presented at FDIC years ago but wasn't too happy with their process. Shortly after Firehouse "recruited" me and they seem much more open and progressive. Not saying FDIC is not! Just happier at Firehouse. Would love to get up with you if possible. I am presenting at Firehouse World in Feb. Try and make the trip brother. First 5 or 6 beers on me!
            I get it. there is a that fine line, and quite honestly, where that line sits depends very much on the reader, not the writer. It can also depend on what's happening in the life of the reader at that moment or during the day, so there is hard and fast point at which anyone become "pushy".

            A lot also depends on the cultural perspective that the reader is coming from. In the case of Bones, as an example, EMS of any sort is typically not a function of the fire department, especially in volunteer communities. There is a hard and fast line between EMS and fire, and generally the two don't cross. That was the case in a couple of neighboring departments in the northeast where I served as well. I can remember that there was on a couple of occasions efforts by the local volunteer department to get involved in EMS as first responders which was intently opposed by the folks with the EMS agency. In both cases, they are now running EMS first response, and it both cases, the relationship can still be described as "frosty" 10 years later.

            All I cans ay is keep posting. There will always be folks I guess that may have issues from time to time with anyone's posts. As I have said, I know that I have ticked off more than one person on this forums in discussing aggressive attacks and firefighter fatalities, so some may say that I'm certainly not one to talk about chilling.

            As far as firehouse, that has been moved to Nashville, right? I doubt that I can get the department to send me, but I'll sure try. What is their process for accepting presentations?
            Train to fight the fires you fight.

            Comment


            • #36
              I always live by the mantra "That which goes unchallenged goes unchanged." I have thick skin and try and focus on the big picture... that future LaFireEducator out there.

              No that is Firehouse Expo what was moved to Nashville and that is in October. Firehouse World is in San Diego at the end of Jan to Feb. I know California is a big state but thought that could be a possibility.

              Comment


              • #37
                Originally posted by Daniel Byrne View Post
                I always live by the mantra "That which goes unchallenged goes unchanged." I have thick skin and try and focus on the big picture... that future LaFireEducator out there.

                No that is Firehouse Expo what was moved to Nashville and that is in October. Firehouse World is in San Diego at the end of Jan to Feb. I know California is a big state but thought that could be a possibility.
                From LA ..... As in Louisiana ..... Not as in Los Angeles.

                And as much as I would love my Chief to send me to San Diego in January, that ain't happening.

                I tend to challenge folks as well when they start listing the excuses as to why they can't deliver public education to the community. The simple fact is there are, in most cases, ways to do it. It might involve thinking outside of the way they typically operate, which often makes folks uncomfortable, but often they can find ways.
                Train to fight the fires you fight.

                Comment


                • #38
                  Originally posted by Daniel Byrne View Post
                  Bones what can I say?

                  Yes. The attitude in your post was wrong based upon the way it was written. When you make a post like that then I think it is safe to say you will get a like response. Your post offered no explanation. No clarification. No description. I like to use the forums to share ideas, support, motivate, discuss. Not argue and talk about how the world is against us and we can't get anything done. Based upon my previous posts and articles.... what exactly did you think I would say to your post?

                  There are people in all kinds of departments in these forums with all kinds of challenges. I have NO way to tell what their situation is unless they tell me. But I would like to think that by posting possibilities MAYBE someone may be able to use it and make a difference, maybe it doesn't apply, but the only way to create opportunities and possibilities is to offer suggestions, examples, and offer support. Simply making a post like yours is in no way helpful without substance. In fact it is opposite of the firefighter attitude. And I will still say if that is your attitude then yes.... sorry.... it is wrong, and for people who may be using this forum to try an improve their department and themsevles (which I would like to believe is the majority) I am not going to let a post like that go without a comment. Sorry.

                  I have seen many departments with their back against the wall turn things around and the core driver in that is a positive person(s) who overcome, and see challenges not problems. This isn't some locker room motivational speech or taken out of some "self improvement" book, put personal experiences and from traveling and presenting and meeting firefighters from coast to coast. Yep I have been told to go to hell. I also have received e-mails from people who have applied something I said and it worked. The "thank yous" FAR outweigh the "go to hells" so I will keep trying to help and offer the things I have learned over the years.

                  If what I say doesn't apply simply ignore it. If you offer a problem as to why what I have said won't work I will offer a solution. If it doesn't apply ignore it. If you don't want a solution or suggestion don't post your problem. If your posts are solely to try and make someone think they are wrong you are wasting finger strength, because as I have said the things I post are not things I just think up over a beer. These are things I have seen work. No amount of "you are wrong" will change that.

                  If you read any of my articles and posts you would have seen I am HIGHLY complementary to volunteers and have even stated when it comes to volunteers I have no answers just suggestions. That's all I can offer and as long as I wear a badge, I am in this brotherhood, I will ALWAYS offer suggestions and possibilities. I will never jump in the pity pool and tell some volunteer that "yes, you're screwed, just shut your doors." But I will continue to offer help based upon fact and experience.

                  Volunteers are true heroes. They didn't become like that by being defeatest.
                  I thought CaptnJak was doing a fine job of explaining the "opposing" thoughts....didn't see a need to repeat what was already said. This thread involved a few peoples statements...it wasn't a 1 on 1. I have read some of your articles, not all, and a decent amount of your posts. Never put you as a paid vs volunteer mindset.

                  And I disagree that volunteers are true heroes. Volunteers are no different than anyone else other than they stepped up. That doesn't make anyone a hero. What you do as a volunteer....well, that may make you a hero. But that is more of what you do as a human being than being a volunteer (or paid, or anywhere between).

                  PS - and I will agree with LaFire....he has definitely had some tough times on here with his opinions not always fitting in.
                  "This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?

                  Comment


                  • #39
                    Originally posted by Bones42 View Post
                    I thought CaptnJak was doing a fine job of explaining the "opposing" thoughts....didn't see a need to repeat what was already said. This thread involved a few peoples statements...it wasn't a 1 on 1. I have read some of your articles, not all, and a decent amount of your posts. Never put you as a paid vs volunteer mindset.

                    And I disagree that volunteers are true heroes. Volunteers are no different than anyone else other than they stepped up. That doesn't make anyone a hero. What you do as a volunteer....well, that may make you a hero. But that is more of what you do as a human being than being a volunteer (or paid, or anywhere between).

                    PS - and I will agree with LaFire....he has definitely had some tough times on here with his opinions not always fitting in.
                    Always enjoy discussions with Captnjak. But I guess there hits a point where people need to agree to disagree. When two people stand firm on a subject and do not really know one another personally the "discussions" can appear to be "pushy" or "negative." Forums are for debate and sharing opinions. Sadly, thought not the case here, forums are used by people who just wish to throw stones and use the boards as a means to say "on-line" what the feel oppressed saying in person. I am sure there is a total psychology book dedicated to that.

                    But in summary please do not take my constant suggestion, opinions, etc. to your comments as being pushy or antagonistic. In no way would I do that here of all places. But this is a place I hope some starry-eyed rookie comes to and reads, and goes back to his department with a fresh prospective and motivation. Maybe it will work, maybe it will be an impossibility with their organization, but MAYBE... MAYBE...

                    You bring up a very good point about heroes. I have said before firefighters are nothing more than the basic-core of humanity. We have perfected what the human condition drives for - to help people. Not ALL humans now, but I like to think 98.9%. But I have seen "true-blue full of heart" volunteer firefighters change when a paycheck gets involved. It is really sad. After 19 years of this I still consider myself fortunate (most days) to be getting paid to do this. Sadly more than a few former volunteers have lost that. But to ANYONE who does this without pay, with ALL that is required of us, has my full respect and envy. I do miss my volunteer days.

                    So thank you for all you do.

                    Comment


                    • #40
                      Originally posted by LaFireEducator View Post
                      From LA ..... As in Louisiana ..... Not as in Los Angeles.

                      And as much as I would love my Chief to send me to San Diego in January, that ain't happening.

                      I tend to challenge folks as well when they start listing the excuses as to why they can't deliver public education to the community. The simple fact is there are, in most cases, ways to do it. It might involve thinking outside of the way they typically operate, which often makes folks uncomfortable, but often they can find ways.
                      LOL! Well I have had you ALL wrong, I always thought you were one of the "westcoast" firefighters when you are in fact Cajun!! LOL! Well we are closer than I thought and I am sure our paths will cross brother. If you golf Hilton Head is right down the street...

                      Comment


                      • #41
                        Originally posted by Daniel Byrne View Post
                        LOL! Well I have had you ALL wrong, I always thought you were one of the "westcoast" firefighters when you are in fact Cajun!! LOL! Well we are closer than I thought and I am sure our paths will cross brother. If you golf Hilton Head is right down the street...
                        Actually not Cajun ... Just a "Damn Yankee".

                        Moved down here from the northeast (New York,, MA and VT) 13 years ago. Still a Yankee.
                        Train to fight the fires you fight.

                        Comment


                        • #42
                          Originally posted by LaFireEducator View Post
                          Actually not Cajun ... Just a "Damn Yankee".

                          Moved down here from the northeast (New York,, MA and VT) 13 years ago. Still a Yankee.
                          As am I. Boston Mass originally. But may the South Rise Again!! LOL! Go Patriots!

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