There have been a few articles and news clips I’ve read on Facebook recently that provoked discussion, and motivated me to write a not-so-short opinion piece with my thoughts on the matter. Click here to read full article: Thoughts on fire, PTSD, and stress — chasing fire
By Alex Viktora Wildland Firefighters receive burn injuries every season. Often times some sort of flammable liquid ignites resulting in a burn, like the rather common drip torch leg burn scenario mentioned in this NWCG memo. Other times we fall in stump holes and ash pits—sometimes up to our waist! And then there is the … Continue reading Burn Injuries – Wrong Hurts
By Alex Viktora I used to work for the National Park Service. One of the sweetest things about working for the NPS was the official socks. That’s right. Socks. As a member of a wildland fire crew, I rarely had much need to be in official NPS uniform, so my annual uniform allowance was spent … Continue reading Socks Matter
How Thorough and Creative “What If” Thinking Led to Safety Successes By the 2016 Fire Safety and Learning Teams, U.S. Forest Service Southern Region [Note: As part of the historic 2016 fall fire season in the Southeastern United States, the U.S. Forest Service deployed teams throughout the Region to capture learning opportunities.] IMT personnel at … Continue reading Lessons from the Knoxville Mobilization Center
Although volunteers and individual acts of kindness provide wonderful support, if a mechanism is not in place to deliver this support, it can create a unique kind of challenge. By the 2016 Fire Safety and Learning Teams, U.S. Forest Service Southern Region [Note: As part of the historic 2016 fall fire season in the Southeastern … Continue reading How Do You Manage “Aggressive Kindness” on Incidents?
Last week we featured writing from the Asheville Hotshots. This week we highlight several unconventional lessons generated by other folks in the Southern Area. The writing in this weeks series was originally submitted through Rapid Lesson Sharing. In coordination with the submitters, several of these submissions have been adapted for this Blog. Nice work Southern Area - … Continue reading Don’t Let Your Language Fool You: Risk “Transfer” is Not Risk “Mitigation”
This is Asheville IHC Reaction #14 - part of the Asheville Hotshots written reactions to "The Big Lie" I agree and disagree with many things in Mark’s essay “The Big Lie.” The best thing it does is that it seems to have lots of people talking, from ground pounders to fire staff and national office types. … Continue reading The Change in Acceptable Risk Needs to Stem from the Top Down
This is Asheville IHC Reaction #13 - part of the Asheville Hotshots written reactions to "The Big Lie" After Reading the “The Big Lie,” I 100 percent agree with what Mark Smith has to say in regards to the lies pervading our “safety oriented fire culture” and the many examples he uses in his essay. The … Continue reading Saying/Thinking/Pretending We are Safe Does Not Make It So
This is Asheville IHC Reaction #12 - part of the Asheville Hotshots written reactions to "The Big Lie" After reading the Big Lie I was definitely on the same mindset as Mark Smith—no one wants to believe it can happen to them. I agree with the part of the essay that says “There is acceptable risk. … Continue reading No One Wants to Believe It Can Happen to Them
This is Asheville IHC reaction #11 - part of the Asheville Hotshots written reactions to "The Big Lie." There are a lot of points that I agree with in “The Big Lie.” Things like fire is inherently dangerous, that a zero fatality goal is unattainable, and how much risk is acceptable. One of the major … Continue reading You Can Do Everything Right and Still Be Killed in This Job.