Merry Christmas 2014
Why Do We Have This Policy?

Sometimes, the more policies that are put in place, the less your members will feel accountable for tasks. What may seem like a good policy may actually be affecting members and your fire department’s mission in a negative way.

Are Some of Your Policies Counterproductive?

  1. Review WHY the policy was created and decide if there’s still a valid reason to have it. If not, get rid of it!
  2. Does the policy contain unproductive tasks (We’ve always done it that way) that have potential for improvement? Revise it for better productivity!

How Can You Stop Counterproductive Policies?

  1. Decentralize authority and responsibility. Empower your members to make decisions.
  2. Be an advocate for change. Be willing to try something new.
  3. If you do need a policy, design it to be focused on getting work done, not slowing it down.

For better organization and productivity, keep it simple and ask, Why do we need it? How do we do it?” and “What will it do for us?


We Are All Team Members

Unfortunately, this is often true.

I think teamwork is a great way to deliver effective, positive results for any project. Teams help grow leaders, develop a culture of learning, and improve performance.

Action-oriented teams understand why they are working on a project, ask the right questions to develop how best to get it done, and collectively form what needs to be done to ensure that change takes place.

Real teamwork takes a commitment to work together!

Asking Questions

Asking questions is the secret to good conversation. And a conversation is exactly what a team should be having. This requires all members to both talk and listen. Come to your meetings armed with questions. Oh, and be ready to have some answers too!

Adapted from a John Maxwell post.

dangerous encounters
Dangerous Encounters!

We are confronted today by a variety of factors than can negatively impact our safety, survival, and success on the fire ground. This cartoon by Paul Combs and Fire Engineering describes one of the most serious problems we face, hoarder homes. Building design and construction we can understand to a certain degree. Human factors, or the people who maintain or live in those buildings, and in many cases abandon them and leave them vacant, are difficult to comprehend.

Give some extra thought to the special problems you will encounter when responding to incidents at hoarder homes and abandoned structures. Locate those dangerous places in your area, then discuss your plan of attack, which should include a serious look at the risk vs. benefit.

always done it
The Most Dangerous Phrase

I found this image at Station Pride. It delivers a powerful message, one we must remember everyday. When you hear someone say, “We’ve always done it this way,” immediately ask them, “Why?” The last thing we should do is the same old thing we’ve always done. Look around and find out what’s new out there!