Not paying attention to outliers can be a tremendous cost.

L. David Marquet, former submarine commander and author of Turn the Ship Around!: A True Story of Turning Followers into Leaders, suggests that when we discover an outlying position we should create a mindset of “they may be right and I may be wrong,” and then explore it.

Keep your mind open to find new opportunities, understand others, and manage uncertainty.

Embrace the outliers!

Another great learning source is Malcolm Gladwell’s book, Outliers: The Story of Success.

Help, My Job Is Killing Me

Captain Jeremy Hurd to talk about helping our own at FDIC 2016

We prepare and practice for our fireground challenges, but what are we doing to take care of our own in the firehouse?

Follow Captain Jeremy Hurd as he helps the fire service tackle the real issues in the fire service: firefighter health and safety.

Good ideas and real solutions are too often shut down with that short, cynical answer, “That won’t work.”

Effective leaders, on the other hand, are curious and want things to work. They respond by saying, “Tell me more.”

“A fairly straightforward operation,” as described by FDNY Battalion Chief Joseph Jardin, still requires good decision making, and fast! Especially when two window washers are trapped on a dangling scaffold nearly 70 stories up the new 1 World Trade Center tower.

Effective command and control, combined with real teamwork and the right tools and procedures can bring a complex and dangerous situation to a positive outcome. It did here!

Read more about the 68th floor challenge here.


New research is shedding light on how we fight fires and in some cases, challenge long-accepted practices. This video highlights the key lessons from this research that will hopefully get you thinking deeper and maybe incorporate them into your department’s operations.

Points to Consider:

  • Fires are more volatile today because of building design and construction, and fire load materials (this stuff burns faster and hotter).
  • Early application of water reduces the thermal threat to firefighters (do something to the fire and everything gets better).
  • Forcible entry openings should be considered as ventilation (as the building changes, so does the fire behavior).
  • The SLICE-RS method is intended to serve as the initial attack sequence for first arriving companies whereas, RECEO-VS serves as command priorities to help guide the incident commander through the process.

Watch and listen, dig deeper into everyone’s thoughts and see how this research can help your department operate safer and more effectively.

Listening to music stimulates your thinking, but playing a musical instrument is like cross fit for your brain. Here’s why playing music is a mental workout that builds long term strength to help you observe, orient, decide, and act. Think I’ll take my guitar to work.

Go to TED-Ed here to see the lesson plan and a deeper discussion.

How To Speak So That People Want To Listen

Gossip, judging, negativity, complaining, excuses, lying, and dogmatism (my way) are the seven deadly sins of speech found in every corner of a fire department. It’s a growing disease that obstructs productivity, and more important, our ability to effectively serve. We must avoid them, and in this TED video, Julian Treasure shares several ways to help us create a continuing, constructive conversation with each other.

Here’s some short takeaways from his talk:

  • There are  four powerful cornerstones we can use to be positive and make change in our organizations (our lives). When speaking, use honesty, authenticity, integrity, and love (HAIL) to have open, clear communication.
  • It’s not only what you say, but how you say it that makes a difference. And I would add why you are saying it. A few speaking tools you can use are register (where it comes from), timbre (the way your voice feels), prosody (rhythm), pace (tempo), pitch (tone), and volume (loud, soft, or just right).

Speaking does no good if no one is listening or understanding what you’re saying.

Think of these delivery methods when speaking in a meeting, or just having a conversation in the hallway. Learn to speak better, where ever you are, and we might all get along and get more done, together.

Leadership: The Denver Fire Department Way

Denver Fire Department shares lessons learned about their LODDs and their commitment that focuses on personal safety, behavioral health, individual size up, and safety leadership. As Chief Tade says, “Leadership is the key element in firefighter safety.”

Review the 16 Life Safety Initiatives here.