Go Home, Everyone
I've recently had the pleasure of attending Courage to be Safe - So Everyone Goes Home. This program is offered by the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation and was delivered recently in my home town via the New York State Office of Fire Prevention and Control and was, simply put, one of the most meaningful presentations I've been at in the last twenty-four years.
This program, delivered by Mr. Paul Melfi, struck me at the core as a father, firefighter, and officer. I had the pleasure of interviewing Paul on the Courage to be Safe program while he was in Rochester. You can listen to the preview, my commentary and the interview with Paul on Mitigation Journal: The All-Hazards Podcast shows 60 and 61.Courage to be Safe - So everyone goes home is based on 16 Firefighter Life Safety Initiatives...everything from personal and organizational accountability for health and safety to apparatus design...are summed up in the 16 initiatives.
What are you prepared to do? Find your State Advocate here and request a class for your department...now, do it now. Not a fire-based organization? Courage to be Safe easily translates to emergency medical service.
Of course I have a few of the 16 Firefighter Life Safety Initiatives that stand out and have special meaning for me. Among my favorite initiatives are #4 All firefighters must be empowered to stop unsafe practices this means that the newest probie to the most senior officer have to have the guts to get out of the old mindset "because we've always done it that way" ...and that will take guts. This also means that we have to adjust our egos, actions and policy to reflect innovative safe thinking. When it comes to empowering your personnel to look for and stop unsafe practices, we have to think in the long term...a cultural change.
If your a chief officer or department offical - find your state advocate and request a class, if your a firefighter - forward this info to your chief and push this class to your brothers and sisters. It may be the best thing you can do to save a life.