Earlier this morning I came acrosx this link on Facebook: These Photos Need No Description. The Last One Captures Everything. Of course I had to go and post this on my facebook page for all my firefighter “friends” (for all firefighters really) with the comment to “Be Careful and StaySafe”…. But what does that mean?
Safety and Staying Safe is a relative term. Obviously the very nature of the job of firefighter is UNSAFE…. After all you guys are running into burning buildings, etc (not the safest thing in the world to do if thinking in terms of civilian). Safety isn’t about staying away from danger and letting the “professionals” deal with it – in this case you (the firefighters) ARE THE Professionals… Staying Safe to me means things like Training, Drilling, Remembering to put on your PPE, Wearing your seatbelt on the rig, Situational Awareness. The last (?) section on the well known EGH Video tape put out my Chicago Fire Department and NFFF several years back puts it the best…. To paraphrase ‘Your goal: At the end of the shift, EVERYONE GOES HOME’… Now I could get into that one and what that means, but I think I’ll save that for another post and a later date. For now, back to the whole Staying Safe gig.
We’ve established that a firefighter’s job, by nature, is unsafe and you/they are constantly putting selves into dangerous situations… So when I say “StaySafe” I mean doing whatever you can to ensure your safety while doing your job. Something I’ve heard many times (and even say myself) – “You can’t be a help to anyone else if you, yourself, are in trouble (not to mention now there are 2 victims – The original victim and you). Something I’ve taught my son (though whether or not it has sunk in I have no idea)… STOP!! Not only is that the first thing you should do in an emergency but it is also a basic look at what your steps should be… First, STOP what your doing (don’t be panicking or running around like chicken with head cut off, etc). Then Think & Observe (okay maybe not literally in that order), Last, plan (what are you going to do what are your actions). I think in many ways (though the applications and executions will be much different) this applies to Firefighters. Don’t just bgo running into the burning building without a good look at what’s going on (we call that Situational Awareness). What I tell my son (I say it as a joke, but it is also serious) – If you don’t have time (5 seconds or whatever) to STOP – Stick your head between your legs and kiss your ass good-bye.
I know it’s an unsafe job that you guys do, but that doesn’t mean you can’t do it as safely as possible.
Remember guys, STAY SAFE!!!