The need for more multi-agency training

Seldom if ever, is vehicle extrication carried out by a single agency. In every single one of the over 100 countries where I have delivered training, the role of the other agencies is discussed and considered and is always done…

Is there ‘Real Collaboration’ amongst the Fire and Rescue Service?

Recently the plight of a youth football team and their coach in a cave system in Thailand became the focus of international interest along with an international rescue response. The incident proved both the effectiveness of international response to an…

Getting the job done

Over the course of my 26-year career in the fire and emergency services, I’ve been fortunate to travel beyond the United States and visit colleagues in multiple fire services around the world. In every country I’ve visited, despite some outward…

Challenge and inspiration in the fire service

At my first fire I almost killed another firefighter. I was ashamed of myself, sick in the stomach because I didn’t know what I was doing and I was dangerous. Two years later I graduated with the highest academic score…

Ten time-tested truths for the future

Only 4 or 5 months ago (it seems), I was a firefighter on the busiest ladder company in the Jersey City, New Jersey Fire Department – a tough tenement-filled waterfront city directly across the river from New York City. What…

Balancing firefighter protection is like a 3-Dimensional chess game

The alarming rate of cancer diagnoses among firefighters is very real and very serious. What we know is that firefighters have an increased risk for several types of cancer. Fires produce hundreds of toxic compounds; and some are carcinogenic. Everyone…

Expectations and a higher level of standards

When I joined the fire department, I held many expectations of how it was going to be in the fire service. What it would be like as a firefighter, my duties and responsibilities, the situations I would find myself in,…

A French General and FDIC International

The fire service has many common interests internationally, among them the issues that affect our ability to complete our mission, the issues that affect our ability to protect our members, and the issues that affect our self-development and leadership. Addressing…

Health and safety are critical to firefighter success

Too often firefighters and emergency medical responders subscribe to the belief that they need to put others first at the expense of their own health and safety. To some extent this is true – we are the ones running into…

Why do people find diversity so difficult?

When I joined the Fire and Rescue Service as a firefighter in 1992 – 10 years after women started to do so – I was one of three women that had successfully completed the recruits’ course in Bedfordshire and Luton…

A true inspiration to us all – Dumitru Polscin

Before this year’s Fire Department Instructors Conference (FDIC) held in Indianapolis, USA in April, the name Dumitru Polscin was largely unknown outside of Moldova. In this special 50th issue of International Firefighter magazine we are dedicating the front cover and…

Critical Operations Raises Global Profile

Having been recruited in 1998 as a Corporal Watch Commander deployed at Al Qusais fire station, a key station in the developing Dubai, my role was multi-functional and included writing new training and development policies for operational crews, together with…

Firefighter PPE gets personal

Having joined Bristol Uniforms over 30 years ago, I have been closely involved with the many changes that have taken place in firefighting both in the UK and around the world. Back in 1981, modern professional firefighter clothing was emerging…

Counting the Uncountable…

Walking around the exhibition halls at several large fire service conferences this summer reminded me of how big ‘fire’ is and the number of dollars spent every year protecting lives and property from fire loss. Fire trucks and hoses, pumps…

Changing the culture of the Calgary Fire Department

In January, 2015, I became the Fire Chief of the Calgary Fire Department (CFD). It is both an efficient, well-run organization and one existing in an environment of increasing diversity and seemingly endless change. What then, is required to be…

Change and Opportunity – Are They One and the Same?

As a leader in a Fire and Rescue Service I regularly hear the saying that ‘the only thing that is constant is change’. Of course with the competing demands of public expectation against  a backdrop of enforced budget reductions the…

The Millennials are Coming

From fighting fires to onboarding Millennials, times are changing. Embrace the changes. Over the past 30 years, I’ve had the opportunity to visit fire services in more than 75 countries around the world. It’s always humbling to meet with our…

Scotland’s seamless transition to a national fire and rescue service

It’s been an exceptional period of change for those of us working in the emergency services in Scotland. We have marked the inaugural year of the newly formed Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS), established on 1 April 2013. The…

Subscribe to International Fire Fighter today for FREE!

Choose a Printed or Digital subscription to have full access to our website content.

Subscribe here for FREE

To dismiss this message please login here