5 Fire Department Self Inflicted Wounds

July 14, 2015

Sometimes “we” are the problem. Because of a lack of teamwork, we don’t effectively plan. Because of a dislike to change, we don’t learn from previous events. Because of a strict, vertical hierarchy, we don’t listen to new ideas for development. Because a “status quo” attitude seems easier than growing and improving, we allow mediocrity to prevail. And, because growing leaders and building a team is hard work, we fail to provide the next generation of leaders and firefighters.

Treating and healing self inflicted fire department wounds is difficult. First, we have to overcome the fact that we did it to ourselves. Maybe that means a change in leadership. It certainly demands a change in our approach. I would suggest it requires that we assemble a “team of teams.”

Just about everyone knew, or had heard of Chief Glenn Gaines. He recently passed away in April 2015, but left us with many years of fire service wisdom. I had the privilege to be part of a lunch conversation with him about a year ago when I was teaching a command and control class at the National Fire Academy. Along with a few other instructors who met daily at the Ott House for lunch, we listened to Chief Gaines’ insight and spirit for the fire service and how we could do it better.

Read here an article recently published at FireChief.com where Chief Gaines identifies five key organizational wounds fire departments inflict upon themselves and some suggestions on how to prevent them.

You can also click the “5 Fire Department Self Inflicted Wounds” title at the top of the page to go to the article.

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