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Guest blog writtn for ATS by Robert Avsec A request for proposal, or RFP, is a business tool that should be used by a fire department’s leadership to ensure that your department obtains the most competitively priced goods and services to meet your organization’s training needs. A well-written RFP can ensure that your department’s expectations are clearly understood by potential vendors.  For potential vendors, your RFP should provide them with a guide that enables them to accurately and completely describe the who, what, when, why, and how they will meet the expectations you set forth in your RFP. A RFP Invites Competitive Bids When vendors respond to RFPs they understand they are competin
Guest blog written for ATS by Robert Avsec Where to start? Tackling such a broad topic in your fire department might seem like trying to get a drink of water from a fire hose, no? Well, how about we take that water flow down to water fountain-size and get a good drink! Let's start with us Firefighters and fire officers can be their own "worst enemy" when it comes to safety. In his outstanding book, I Can't Save Your Life, But I'll Die Trying, Dr. Burton Clark, a long-time advocate for safet
The success of any team depends on its leadership. Without a cool and knowledgeable head at the helm, your department is a ship in a storm bound for trouble. The fire officer holds a position that requires both management and leadership skills in order to create cohesion in the high-stakes world of the fire service. Consider the following tips in your officer development to insure that operations run smoothly and, at a time of crisis, lives are saved 1) Know your teamAs a company officer, you will be leading a group of distinct individuals, many of whom may come from a diverse range of backgrounds and hold a diverse range of views and values. In order to facilitate productive group chemistry, it is important to see and understand each individual's place in the wider context of the group. Good delegation is the key to good management. By knowing the nuances of your team members, you will be able to set appropriate goals for each individual, ensuring the
Fire officers and assistant fire officers need to enforce a ‘no excuses’ safety culture with regard to policies affecting firefighter safety. Many people talk about “changing the culture” of the fire service to reduce firefighter injuries and fatalities, but what will that mean to you as a team leader? What are the characteristics of a safety culture and what are the practices for fostering it in your team? Action Training Systems’ “Fire Officer I series” describes a safety culture as: … a safety mindset that extends to every operation and activity – in the station, en route to emergencies, in training and in emergency response.
Yes! As a firefighter, you learned how to put water on fires. As a supervising fire officer, you need to become skilled at putting out a different kind of fire: conflict. Managing conflict is an essential leadership skill. You will want to learn how to manage all kinds of conflict – from petty disputes to major disagreements with the potential to derail your team’s success. Managing conflict is an unavoidable part of any supervisor’s job. Nobody likes conflict, but suppressing disagreements only produces frustrated firefighters and unhappy fire stations. On the other hand, a fire service officer who can confront conflict skillfully can turn it into an opportunity to help individuals grow and improve the organization. Action Training Systems’
Every day, firefighters risk their lives to save people from fires, serious accidents and other perils. But in the heat of the moment, their own safety is often the last thing on their minds, and they often fail to recognize the dangers in routine habits and daily life at the fire station. As the supervising fire officer on the front lines, protecting your team’s health and safety must be the first thing on your mind. “Watching their backs” is your most important responsibility. In its Fire Officer I series, Action Training Systems identifies statistics as a key tool