What is scarier, a headless horseman terrorizing a small New York farming village, or knowing that your proud department is ran by a headless leader? In this Halloween season of ghouls, goblins, ghosts, and Lady Gagas, perhaps we should look inward to our own demons and excise those who torment and haunt our hallowed bays. Leadership should be clear, concise, and present – not over bearing – but everybody should know who the “boss” is.

That white hat doesn’t make you a leader, it’s just something that suppose to sit on your unsevered, well-trained, passionate, motivated head! Be the leader your people need you to be!

Stay safe out there, my brothers and sisters – and Happy Halloween!

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So, there you are browsing your favorite cat videos and fellow firefighters on Facebook (or, insert your preferred social media site here) when you come across an article or cell phone video where another fire department has had a call go terribly wrong. Cool, you say, as you watch in anticipation for that telling moment when you can judge without knowing all the facts, without speaking with anybody who may have the facts, and with internet impunity. What’s worse? Jumping on the bandwagon of more than a hand-full of social media chiefs who think they know absolutely everything and can bring down their swift keyboard hammer of unjustified social shamming and ridicule onto anybody who may offer them that brief moment of social media spotlight.

My grandfather used to say, and perhaps you’ve heard it too, “If you are not brave enough to say it to somebody’s face, don’t say it at all”. Truth! However, the wonders of the internet have made it oh so easy for us to say whatever we want, hurt who we wish, and digitally slap the hand of another, so we can put our computer to sleep and walk away with that sanctimonious grin of satisfaction on our face. Don’t believe me? Just ask the poor University of Michigan kid who literally dropped the ball last weekend in a loss to Michigan State.

Aren’t you better than this? Should you blindly follow the Social Media Chiefs who pompously spread their particular brand of bulling? I won’t mention any names here, but my guess is you know a few.

Don’t be one of their Sheeple! The good Lord gave you plenty of grey-matter between your ears to look at the FACTS and come to your own conclusions (notice I did not say blame). Besides, careful who you ridicule because the next video being spread on social media like spoiled jelly may be you and your department’s call that went terribly wrong!



Daily DRAWN BY FIRE – The Invisible Volunteer

I’m celebrating the first day of October, my favorite month, with a scary cartoon. Well, maybe mildly disturbing would best describe it, but the message behind it should be terrifying for small communities. The volunteer spirit may still be strong in America, but that spirit is waning in the volunteer fire service where numbers are dwindling and younger bodies are not walking in the door (or walking back out after a few years). I have heard that some regions are still holding their own, but that’s not the case for most of the lower 48. Wish I had an answer instead of a parody cartoon stating the obvious, but that’s where smarter folks than me will step up and move forward.

If your Dept have solved the recruiting and retention problem, please share your story here so others may be able to duplicate it.

Please ‘Like’ and ‘Share’ the message…

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