This week I am challenging us to think about what we use as our own measures of success or what really makes us effective either personally or professionally in our career of this fire service.
There are all sorts of things that can serve as our personal yardstick and I am just going to randomly throw out some things so that you can discuss these personally in your own setting, whatever size department or at whatever rank you are.
Do you meet any of the NFPA national standards or doesn't that matter to you? The certification standards for firefighters are a nationally recognized minimum. To some people these certifications are the measure of effectiveness they use in their career.
Are you well respected by your members below you and your supervisors above you? Being efficient and well respected regardless of any certification might be the measure for some other folks.
Do you have or are you pursuing a higher degree and college education. To some that is the ultimate and the measure of their personal effectiveness?
Does your department as a whole do the right thing and not embarrass the community. Does your department enjoy good positive community support regardless of how busy you are?
Does your department have the best and newest and latest and greatest equipment, and that is your measure of effectiveness?
Do you operate safely and efficiently without a lot of injuries?
Does your department operate cost effectively with low sick time and high enthusiasm?
Are you an average department that does good safe firefighting and aggressive EMS work, and the "customers" actually appreciate the routine everyday things that occur within your community.
Whatever you do yourself within your own department remember that it is really not about what you think is effective it really doesn't matter at all what you think, it really matters what your community thinks and how other perceive you, that really determines how effective you are or are allowed to be.
Not really a fire problem this week, sort of a Haz mat or medical emergency. You receive a medical call for your local supermarket for someone feeling weak and dizzy. While EMS is enroute you begin receiving additional calls.
1.) What are your initial actions?
2.) What are the additional resources you would call for?
3.) Do you know what refrigerant is used in these coolers, and what does the system schematic look like?
4.) Is the product toxic? Does it just displace oxygen? Is there any odor to the product? Is it a huge refrigeration system that uses ammonia?These are all things that you might be able to determine through pre planning ahead of time. We often pre plan the building but we should take a look at all systems that introduce products inside of a building through pipes, vents, conduits.
5.) On a crowded Saturday morning, how many people are actually exposed or contaminated, versus the folks that might have "sympathy" sickness from watching this incident. Triage will be a major consideration. Because this is a grocery store, are there any other considerations or agencies to be called after the incident is stabilized?
This week a slight departure where we take a humorous and lighthearted look about a serious subject while making the point, that sometimes we need to look outside our own service to find ways to do things better!
We compare incident management to a restaurant operation!