To say I am pissed is an understatement, and the very reason I started a blog. It was to vent my feelings and share information that I felt may be relevant to help other firefighters go home. Just as any firefighter I can get my tractor cranking and go on a tangent and be wrong, heck this maybe one but that is why it is my blog.
As Leaders we haveÂ a responsibility to challenge Old and New as we navigate our way into finding best practices for our organizations and maybe even the fire service. What I am tired of is people coming up with one size fits all approaches and when they are challenged they get upset about and cry to others to seek help to defend their position. The cool thing about Leadership is people respect you more if you admit your wrong, or you change your position because you received better information, data, and or a different point of view. As a person and leader you are allowed to change for what best suits you. What is not ok, is when things are brought to your attention and you start acting spineless and you blow up like a puffer fish who has been scared by a predator. If you are going to put out your position expect it to be challenged. In fact you should welcome the challenge because you know it will make you and those around you better. Also in the case of Leadership is it really about your members? the American fire service? or JUST YOU, and the organizations you serve? Some of you people throwÂ the word Brotherhood and Leadership around like candy and wouldn’t know it if it hit you in the face, because as soon as you face adversity you have to run to others for help, because you can’t hold your own ground. Leaders experience ups and downs throughout their careers that shape and make them who they are. Leaders are not a bunch of leeches ready to attach themselves to the next person or program trying to makeÂ a difference, THEY ARE THE DIFFERENCE. Leaders take the opportunity to work with people whom they know have the potential to be better than they realize and make them that way. They don’t hide like cowards and talk about others past experiences and try to further their position based on that; All the while citing Scientific data as there backup, and their sole source. SOMETIMES YOU JUST NEED TO BE THERE OR SHUT YOUR MOUTH! Cowards hide in the Shadows or come out and try to poke fun and make light of what they missed or misinformed instead of taking responsibility as LEADERS DO!
A thought about the subject of Instructors as Leaders. Instructors have the responsibility to challenge new practices and materials because they directly effect service delivery everyday, and it is the difference maker between firefighters going home at the end of every call and every shift. If you don’t understand that get out of the business. It should also be painstakingly obvious that an Instructor needs to put their ego to the side from all the fancy terms and technicality to ensure firefighters understand the information presented in it’s simplest form. As an Instructor you owe it to each and every firefighter to cover the subtleties of our profession that make such a dramatic difference when operating on the fire ground. It is also your responsibility to live in the manner of not trusting butÂ verifying any new information coming out and howÂ it appliesÂ to the firefighters you serve and you. It is completely acceptable when gaining a new perspective to update or clarify your position, but don’t make it seem as if that was your position when you have been provided examples for which it wasn’t. It’s just COWARDICE.Â Firefighters deserve the right to know all that is facing them. The information that has been made available has been reviewed and thus the questions or challenging born. As an Instructor if you don’t want to be challenged beÂ experienced and know what you are talking about.
To all whom said that it is not a Controversy as it pertains to Modern Fire updates, you’re right its not. It is a tragedy that those who hold themselves in such high regard don’t seem to understand the value in saying “I was wrong” and being responsible from the beginning that all dynamics within the given situation were presented.
Hope to see some of you all some while I’m rolling the DICE going inside getting my little SLICE of Heaven.