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Conveying Tragedy

Buffalo News Photo-Tonawanda Fatal Fire

Buffalo News Photo-Tonawanda Fatal Fire

I consider myself a student of effective public and media relations. One of the most difficult messages a fire chief or public information officer must convey is that of a tragedy where, despite our best efforts, the results are fatal.

I often coach fire officers and public officials at incident scenes as how to best deliver difficult news. While I encourage them to focus on the role of the rescuers – not the victims, showing respect and concern for all those affected by the tragedy is very important as we speak publicly. This difficult and uncomfortable situation is one that any of us could be faced with at any time.

Some things bear repeating

I’m not one to regurgitate information. I don’t do a lot of pass through e-mails. And I certainly don’t perpetuate “Fw: Fw: Fw: Fw: Fw: Fw: Fw: Fw: Fw: Fw: Fw: Fw: Some inane subject matter” e-mails like so many copy-and-paste-challenged people do.

But some things bear repeating. Some things strike you so profoundly, so succintly, that you simply feel obligated to pass it along, even if so many others have done so already.

This is one of those occasions. I’m re-publishing (with permission) this excerpt of an e-mail from my good friend and mentor Billy Goldfeder. It’s from his not-so-secret Secret List at FirefighterCloseCalls.com. If you don’t subscribe to it, you’re either out of touch or you don’t care about our brother firefighters getting hurt and dead.

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

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