Service and sacrifice – it’s in the DNA

Here we are mid-winter 2021 and I can’t help but to think that, under normal times, we would be focusing the bulk of our time on operational policy and strategy – i.e. planning for the next snow storm, rolling out…

Take that transformation leap

It is exactly 27 years since I joined the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) back in November 1993. While it is not long by the standards of a full career, I have been privileged to be involved in a fair…

It’s all about Trust

Over the course of my almost 30 year career in the fire and emergency services, I have had the opportunity – as a chief fire officer, conference speaker, crisis manager, consultant, and Eisenhower Fellow – to work across the United…

Our People, Our Decisions, Our Future

I write this as the world is facing a global pandemic from Coronavirus (COVID-19) and entering new territories through uncharted waters. I begin by wishing colleagues from the fire and rescue family around the world best wishes during these challenging…

Australian conditions demand adaptation

As I write this, the state of Victoria in Australia, is again facing significant weather extremes. It’s hot with a shifting wind pattern that keeps us all on high alert. There has been rainfall in parts of our state but…

Crisis management: create meaning to stop the chaos

Navigating a multi-stakeholders environment Crisis management requires intellectual agility. A crisis often involves experts and decision-makers from various organizations with very different viewpoints and approaches to solve problems. Responding firefighters need to understand its many dimensions quickly to organize a…

Invest in the dream

The “bravest”. That is what our cities call us. The bar of expectations is set very high by our communities. But, do we fully understand that level of performance? That level of expectation? Looking back at your days in recruit…

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…

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…

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…

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