Archive for November2008

Do the Right Thing

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I’m sure we’ve all heard, and maybe even experienced, how the world is “getting smaller every day.” There’s probably no other place that this phrase is truer than in the fire service.

The more we dare to explore outside of our engine room doors, the more we find that there’s a brave new world out there full of firefighters who, despite their differences, are very similar to every one of us. A friend once told me that, in the end, it’s only the name of the fire department that changes.

While our shapes and sizes, apparatus color and even, dare I say, terminology may be different – we’re all still very much alike. Our challenges and concerns are comparable. Our dedication to serve our communities runs parallel lines despite the distance between us.

Missing a Mentor: What about Bob?

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State Fire Instructor Robert E. Newell

State Fire Instructor Robert E. Newell

January 22, 2008

 

My close friend and associate Bob Newell passed away suddenly on Tuesday, January 22nd at his home.

Bob was a great educator, trainer, mentor and friend to literally thousands of firefighters in a firefighting and instructional career that spanned almost 40 years.

He started one of the first vehicle extrication training programs in Erie County several years ago, long before it was popular. It has since been modeled across the state. He did more for his Village of Hamburg Fire Department and our fire service than they or we will possibly ever realize.

To say Bob had a certain way about him is like saying

The Lost Act of “Popping In”

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Me with my brothers and sisters

Me with my brothers and sisters

I originally wrote this piece for my other blog at: http://buffalo.yourhub.com/~Tiger. However, a snarky friend suggested I post it on Fire Fighter Nation as well. And now, it has ended up here on my blog.

At first I wasn’t sure how it tied into the fire service, but eventually even I was bright enough to see a strong connection.

I hope you will too.

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I had the good fortune of growing up in a neighborhood where regardless of which house you were at when the dinner bell rang, that’s the house you ate at.

It was by all

Power of the Pen

This article is one in a series of toolkits focusing on recruitment, retention, fire service marketing and leadership.

 

Here’s the deal: It’s past midnight, I’m 7+ hours past deadline and the piece I’m writing about another county-based recruitment clearinghouse example isn’t ready for publication.

Then I started thinking, this article is for the July issue. July means summertime. Everyone deserves a summer break. So, let’s take the summer off from talking about clearinghouses and discuss some tools you already have in your toolbox: The power of the pen.

Promoting Your Fire Department

Part 3: Rockland County

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This article is one in a series of toolkits focusing on recruitment, retention, fire service marketing and leadership.

Earlier in our discussion of the clearinghouse approach to recruitment and retention, I outlined my theory that there are three levels of recruitment activities I’ve identified as “The Clearinghouse”; “T&E: Training and Education”; and lastly the “Trench Work.”

 

In discussing the clearinghouse concept, I stated my feelings that the role and responsibility of building awareness as to the need for volunteers falls on regional, state

Part 2: Samples of Success

This article is one in a series of toolkits focusing on recruitment, retention, fire service marketing and leadership.

 

 

In Part 1 of our discussion of the clearinghouse approach to recruitment and retention, I outlined my theory that there are three levels of recruitment activities, three distinct angles of attack, if you will. I identified them as “The Clearinghouse”; “T&E: Training and Education”; and lastly the “Trench Work.”

 

In discussing the clearinghouse concept

Part 1: What’s a Clearinghouse?

In previous articles, I’ve attempted to present the fire service with real tools to use in improving their membership process and documentation including annual reports, prospective member guides and the interview process.

 

Recently, I’ve been working with a group of some 30 fire service leaders to offer solutions to the recruitment and retention challenges of their county’s fire service.

 

As part of that process, I’ve developed a three-tiered model to address what I call “recruitment and retention

Death Toll

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Here’s a hot topic that might set off some fireworks. Who knows, it might even incite a reader to leave a comment.

This is something very near and dear to me and something I feel very strongly about. I’ve wanted to write about this for a long time and a recent conversation with a friend prompted me to pick tonight to write it. And, now that I have the forum to do so, here goes.

I’ll be involved in at least two fire service funerals this week, and hopefully not a third but it’s quite possible.

In my role as Deputy Fire Coordinator, I’ve honestly probably attended perhaps hundreds of such