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Safety: Situational Stress

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Uncertainty and Expectations Every working incident, fire, rescue or EMS, contains an amount of stress that can be said to be both normal and expected. Stress is the human reaction to events and allows us to be properly vigilant and therefore more effective. While a routine building fire might induce a normal amount of stress, […]

48/96: Self-Inflicted Irrelevance

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So Much for Mission Critical Statter 9/11 highlighted a California newspaper editorial this weekend outing the apparent ridiculousness of firefighters having a regular duty shift of 48 hours followed by 96 hours off. The writer, Diana Diamond, seems no friend of firefighters, but that hardly matters when she’s right. 48/96 is the unassailable triumph of […]

Safety: Buses & Us

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Each year millions of Americans ride motorcoaches as an inexpensive alternative to air or rail travel. Dozens of discount lines now run between major cities across the country. Tens of thousands of groups book travel where motorcoaches are used, including student field trips. Motorcoaches are safe but not entirely so. This past week a motorcoach […]

Health: Facebook Traumatic Stress Disorder

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The “Faces” of FTSD There I was, fidgeting anxiously in my shrink’s waiting room, thumbing through magazines, nervous for the session to start, but also afraid of where the conversation might go. I had been struggling for months with anxiety and paralyzing panic attacks, unaware of the cause of my deepening distress or even that […]

Safety: Engagement and Escalation

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A Rush to Act?  As America explores its uneasy relationship with law enforcement, hopefully part of that process will be an excruciating review of the manner in which they engage and then escalate encounters with citizens. Within the decisions which lead to engagement can be found, at least in part, the solutions to the current […]

Ambushed: A McVeigh Moment

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Dallas Undone Last night, five Dallas, Texas, police officers were shot and killed and another seven wounded apparently by a shooter targeting them over recent police shootings of civilians. The New York Times reports that David Brown, police chief in Dallas, said about the shooter, “he was upset at Black Lives Matter, said he was […]

The Mittendorff Tragedy: Leadership and Workplace Sexualization

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“Leadership” I’m skeptical that the mantle of leader somehow confers special wisdom or ethical commitment. The implication that formal leaders can be entrusted to safeguard or inculcate ethics and morality is not born out by the facts generally nor in Fairfax, specifically. One doesn’t become a leader and discover the importance of ethics; by then […]

DCFEMS Does it Again

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Cardiac Arrest News sources are reporting that once again the District of Columbia Fire and EMS Department (DCFEMS) failed to provide services after being notified of an emergency. This time, units were dispatched for a heart attack and the first arriving fire company mistook police activity on the block of the actual address for their […]

Survive the Holidays, Literally

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Don’t be a Mess Many fires can be attributed to some aspect of poor housekeeping.  Clutter both hides (and promotes) fire hazards. Any device requiring energy or generating heat must have a clear area around it for cooling and ventilation. (portable heaters, furnaces, water heaters, appliances, electronics) Use extension cords VERY sparingly; make sure they […]

Zadroga: Where’s the IAFF?

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Missing in Action? A reader posted a comment purportedly from the “The New York City Firefighter Brotherhood Foundation” (NYCFFBF) evaluating the IAFF’s performance on lobbying for the reauthorization of Zadroga coverage. The bill, among other things, “extends the World Trade Center (WTC) Health Program Fund indefinitely.” The NYCFFBF says: “We can’t honestly say where they (IAFF) have […]

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