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Guest blog written by Battalion Chief Robert Avsec (Ret.) For only the second time in its 121-year history, the National Fire Protection Association is preparing to publish a new standard, NFPA 3000: Standard for Preparedness and Response to Active Shooter and/or Hostile Events, with provisional standard status. Provisional standards are developed when there is a serious life safety concern that warrants an abbreviated standards development process. Active shooters and hostile events It's no secret that in the U.S. we're besieged by an epidemic of gun-related violence. Regardles
Guest blog written by Battalion Chief Robert Avsec (Ret.) Firefighter training is not a synonym for testing.   We’ve all been a part of such an exercise, either as a student or an instructor or both. The 
Fire Service Leadership Profiles — Burton ClarkGuest blog written by Battalion Chief Robert Avsec (Ret.) After writing the first leadership profile of Dr. Denis Onieal, the subject of the next article in that series immediately came to mind. Dr. Burton Clark, Ed.D., was a natural choice because he’s had a tremendous impact on my fire service career and likely hundreds of thousands of my colleagues over the years. Dr. Clark has been many things over the years, but his LinkedIn Profile says it all: He lists himself as a Member of the Fire Service for more than 47 years.
Fire Service Leadership Profiles — Dr. Denis OniealGuest blog written by Battalion Chief Robert Avsec (Ret.) The recent passing of fire service legend Fire Chief (Ret.) Alan Brunacini was followed by an incredible outpouring of condolences for the Brunacini family and the fire service around the globe. The posts on social media and on fire service websites provided an incredible array of stories, reminisces and a genuine love for the man who taught us how to be a fire ground commander and he also introduced us to "Mrs. Smith." And he took the title of "King of the Hawaiian Shirt" away from Tom Selleck, aka, Magnum, P.I. In this first installment of Profiles in Fire Service Leadership, I've been given the opportunity to acknowledge and celeb
Firefighters and medics working at the scene of a motor vehicle crash (MVC) are increasingly being exposed to the risk of becoming the victim of a secondary crash. We regularly see instances where first-responders are killed or seriously injured, or their apparatus destroyed, by the reckless actions of inattentive or distracted drivers. The situation for potential disaster is only exacerbated with more individuals with more technology in their care, traveling over poorly maintained roads and highways in many areas of the country. One of the most important responsibilities for fire officers and firefighters alike is recognizing and managing risks. Working a MVC in today's world is a high-frequency and high-risk activity. Make sure that you and your people are prepared every day using the following infor
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 When we think about airports in the U.S., most of us likely think about airports like Chicago's O'Hare Airport or Dallas-Fort Worth or LAX in Los Angeles. Those vast facilities with hundreds of take-offs and landings by planes of all sizes heading to domestic and international destinations. What you may not know is that there are over 19,000 airports, heliports, seaplane bases and other landing facilities in the United States and its territories. The large airports with commercial flight service like LAX and JFK International account for only 378 of the airports in the U.S. Our nation also relies on another 2,952 landing facilities (2,903 airports, 10 heliports, and 39 seaplane bases) to support aeromedical flights, aerial wildland firefighting, law enforcement, disaster r
Guest Blog written for ATS by Robert Avsec What's one of the most critical operational issues that many volunteer fire departments struggle with? Knowing who's available for emergency responses and knowing who's actually responding when a call for service comes in. Volunteer fire departments have historically relied on sign-up sheets or boards located in the fire station; ad hoc scheduling at its best (or worst). And not always accurate as plans change for individual members, changes that too frequently don't get made on the schedule. In this article, I'm going to explore some options that volunteer fire departments can use to better ensure that they have the people they need when someone in the community needs their fire department. What is NFPA 1720? NFPA 1720 is the Standard for the Organization and Deployment of Fir
Guest blog written for ATS by Robert Avsec Training and preparation should be a significant part of every firefighter's career, whether it is their chosen profession or they volunteer their time to their community. First, it's the only way they'll have the required knowledge, skills and abilities to be a safe, effective and efficient firefighter. Secondly, training done with one's peers is a powerful means for developing teamwork and camaraderie, both important qualities for firefighting (After all, it is a "team sport"!). So, whether you're a company officer in a career or combination department, or you're a training officer for your volunteer fire department, here are some key areas for your training focus that will help you conduct training that matters. 1. Knowing your district
Guest Blog written for ATS by Robert Avsec Create an environment that doesn't just support their individual motivation, but makes their motivational fire "grow"! How do you do that? By creating an atmosphere that supports "combustion." Firefighters learn early in their training on the necessity for fuel, heat, and oxygen to combine in the proper measures for the chemical reaction that we know as combustion or fire to occur. That process has been represented by the fire triangle: I believe the same principle—combining elements to create a chemical reaction—can be applied by volunteer fire service leaders in creating an "atmosphere" within their organizations that supports motivation. I also believe a volunteer fire department that has a high level of motivation amongst its members is also one that's not losing i
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