07/12/13 231 W - + 3 - 2 Does the American Fire Service Culture Need Gene Therapy?

Found this via a posting from FireLaw, a recently posted YouTube video of a presentation by Dr. Burt Clark, a full-time faculty member at the National Fire Academy and former career firefighter in the District of Columbia. The thirty-two minute video is predominately an exploration of fire service culture, and as it relates to deaths and injuries of firefighters. There's a short segment where Dr. Clark offers his solutions, his recommended therapy.

Hoping we'll get reactions here, and maybe some discussion. Really enjoyed his articulation of the problem, though I'd like to see an equally expanded/fleshed out version of his proposed solution. And perhaps consideration of other factors/solutions. Though that might double the length of the video. Maybe I will drop him a line some time.

Secondly, his presentation has me thinking about the movie Burn: One Year on the Front Lines of the Battle to Save Detroit, which I watched again this weekend. (Exceptional movie and must-viewing. Buy your DVD today.) That's the American fire service culture in the raw (and in concentration), and depicts a number of behaviors and factors that are potential troublesome as defined by Dr. Clark. (Though it's perhaps heresy to say anything untoward toward that movie, toward Detroit, or toward severe urban situations?)

Looking forward to reader responses all around. Watch the video...

Dr. Clark is right on target with his philosophy. However, I think he needs to go farther with the "gene therapy" to advocate the utilization and training of the NIST results of the burns in SC recently to make changes in our attack procedures. The fire service overall needs a re-visioning process to think about its future.
Frank - 07/12/13 - 23:47

...my constant advocacy at RFD... encouraging people to ask and explore the details of “why” we do what we do. It is quite simple, but only recently have fire service leaders been speaking up about the age-old problem. Maybe its because more are now understanding the affects of culture on decision-making and behavior. Also, listen to the NIST study findings from the FDNY Governors Island NY studies in July 2012 (as presented at FDIC 2013): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jGEgr9877.. Instead of saying “BE SAFE,” let’s say: “BEHAVE SAFE”
A.C. Rich - 07/13/13 - 13:04

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