WE BELIEVE IN
I would also encourage you to reach out to groups
of professional women (in the fire service or not) that
you can talk to directly. One option is the International
Association of Women in Fire and Emergency Services
(i Women). The goal is to see if they can connect you
with people you can relate to, share with, and get specific suggestions on how you can and should respond.
You have been around that firehouse a long time. It’s
“home” in many respects for you, and you want to feel
comfortable at home—no different than anyone else.
But it needs to be comfortable for everyone, not just a
select few. If these measures can happen, over time, it is
my hope that you feel gung ho once again with that
flame burning brightly. To be clear, it will be tough but
not impossible. With genuine effort, this can be fixed
for you and for others in the fire department today and
in the future. This will then allow your department to
refocus on its mission: taking good care of those in
need—including their own members.
As I was writing this column, I learned of
the untimely and sudden passing of Chief Alan
Brunacini. While I could write volumes on the
impact “Bruno” has had on the fire service,
so much will have already been written and
stated by the time you read this. While he led
changes that made many of us very uncomfortable, in the end his focus was always on
taking care of those we serve—as well as all of
us. And, quite frankly, he was absolutely right
in that focus. He led us to understand that the
“customer” is our focus, be it people trapped
in a fire or simply needing to be put back in
bed after a fall. He reminded us that these are
people and must be well taken care of. And,
again, that absolutely includes our firefighters as well. For me personally, the top three
things he helped me better understand are
true command, control, and accountability on
the fireground; the responsibility of risk; and,
lastly, being nice. Simple but powerful stuff.
Thanks, Chief. Rest in peace; you’ve earned
it. Condolences to the entire Brunacini family,
the PFD, and friends.
Let Nozzlehead hear all about it. He’ll answer you with 2,000 psi
of free-flowing opinion. Send your letters to:
Nozzlehead, c/o FireRescue
Penn Well Corp.
21-00 Route 208 South
Fair Lawn, NJ 07410
Attn: Diane Rothschild ( firstname.lastname@example.org)
Got a fire service question or complaint?