Are we technology dependent?

There is a lot to be said about the technology being developed in this gadget era. Most of it is designed to assist us and those we are called upon to protect. A recent personal experience set me wondering, though,…

Firefighters should pat themselves on the back

We all know the role of a firefighter is to protect members of the community that are in trouble from many dangers, not just fire. Fire, flood, EMS, earthquake, tsunami etc. are all part of what firefighters combat to make…

Are we destroying our ability to be professional?

When I was a young firefighter back in the 1970s there was only one means of getting a qualification that would be recognised for promotion within the service. The Institute of Fire Engineers (IFE) had been for years setting examinations…

When will we ever learn?

For those not old enough to remember the Peter, Paul and Mary hit ‘Where have all the flowers gone’ it is about not learning lessons from history and therefore repeating mistakes from the past. I was cleaning out my library…

We need face-to-face conferences and exhibitions to grow

Did you hear that? It was the applause given to me by 40 zoom attendees at the recent presentation I gave to Rotary on the mental health of firefighters. Of course, you heard nothing, and I did not expect anything…

COVID -19: do we have to reinvent the wheel?

It has now been nine months since we first heard the word coronavirus, before it was given its official name COVID-19 followed closely by the word that made us all look up and take note: pandemic. This terrible disease has…

What does it take to change?

With all that is going on in this COVID-19 world – mass unemployment, community lockdown, long-term economic problems and the many thousands of deaths that we know about – you’d be forgiven for thinking that there could be nothing positive…

Are inquiries the way to learn after attending a significant fire?

Do you learn from your experiences at a fire, or are there many important issues that don’t come to the fore, because we don’t systematically go through a process of learning to better our skills as firefighters? The recent fires…

Unsung heroes during large disasters

We read continually about the firefighters, rescuers and civil defence people doing outstanding things on the front line protecting us from fire, typhoons, earthquakes etc. The press photos show rescuers risking their lives to save families and their belongings from…

Are you looking after your mental health?

It’s easy to recognise and understand physical health problems when it’s for example a broken leg, food poisoning, or cancer. It’s easy to assist someone when there are physical symptoms to deal with. Unlike physical problems, which we have been…

Will there be a firefighter in the future?

I was talking to an RAAF pilot recently about how technology with drones has changed the role of a pilot, and he explained that they are moving towards pilots operating their aircraft with a joystick in a bunker thousands of…

If you’re unfit and overweight you’re a liability as a firefighter

Have a look around at the crew you are working with, be it career or volunteer emergency service worker. If they are unfit and/or overweight, I think they are a liability to you and/or your mates. Let me explain why.…

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