Category Archives: Training

Accept Failure # 2 – Denzel Washington

Had a great first day at FDIC 2018.  It was good to see so many friends and colleagues who came in early for the pre-conference workshops.  I want to thank the folks who stopped by my “7 C’s of Fire Officer Trust Class” #7Cz.  Your participation was great and I appreciate your candor, in discussing Fire Officer development.

We talked about accepting and using failure.  Due to time constraints, I did not share this clip with you.  It is the U-Penn Commencement speech that was delivered by the actor Denzel Washington.  His thoughts on failure bolster our discussion.

2018 CT Fire-EMS Caucus Regional Fire School Funding

Thank you to Connecticut State Representatives Pat Boyd and Brian Ohler for your Co-Leadership of the CT Fire-EMS Caucus.  Your valued support for the safety, operations and well-being of First Responders in the State of Connecticut has not gone unnoticed.

We had the chance to testify at the State Capitol to solicit support for the proper funding of the Regional Fire Schools.

Special thanx and shout out to the Connecticut State Fire and EMS Caucus for granting time to hear the concerns for adequate funding of the regional fire schools.  The Caucus was fully supported by the CT Career Fire Chiefs, the IAFF and our surrounding partners in Public Safety.

FDIC2018: The 7 C’s

Monday, April 23, 2018, 1:30 P.M. – 5:30 P.M.

Whether in a large department or a small, we all experience the same issues around officer development.   This  workshop draws on several disciplines to aid participants in identifying the key characteristics of successful officers and managers. Through discussion and activities, the participants will be introduced to seven  traits  critical to professional growth. Among the issues covered will be barriers that hinder cultural change, transforming from firefighter to fire officer and shaping the future.

(Pictured below is the first crew under my command as an assigned officer.  They taught me more than I could ever learn from a book – Thanx Terence , Al, Flo and Mike)

JCFD Engine Company 9
Course Description:

Through the use of dialogue we will share the traits that are commonly associated with good officers and successful leaders. Drawing on elements of the National Fire Academy course, ” Shaping the Future”, participants will exchange ideas and insight for the past, current and future Fire and Emergency Services Culture. We will identify the elements of change in a non-judgmental way.

Course Objectives:
  • Define the seven areas for exploration and discussion.
  • Utilize dialogue and written exercises to identify key terms.
  • Discover your “Command Presence”
  • Discuss barriers that hinder cultural change.
  • Identify resources to aid in transformation from Fire Fighter to Fire Officer.
  • Identify unique issues and operations in the Fire Service Culture.
  • Discuss common business and management cultural principles.

Hope you can make it out and join me.  The best lessons are always shared.  Stay safe!

FDIC 2018 The 7 C’s of Fire Officer Trust

www.fdic.com

Training the New Firefighter

I haven’t been active on social media, blogs or podcasts, in over a year.  Some may know that I retired from the Jersey City Fire Department with 31 years.

Recently, I had the privilege of speaking to the Connecticut Fire Service Instructor’s Association. The topic was training the new firefighter.

It was an informal talk at their Annual Meeting.   The audio is what it is, due to the fact that I did not record the talk in my usual fashion. 🙂

We talked about the classic model of training:

Prepare

Present

Apply

Test

Follow-up

And if you want further information:

Hope it works for you!

UCFA Graduation Keynote – What is past is prologue.

Union County Fire Academy 2016 Graduation Keynote Speech by Battalion Chief John Alston of the Jersey City Fire Department. Subject: “What is Past is Prologue”.

Special thanks to my Union County Academy Family for the invitation to address the graduates; my esteemed honor and privilege to do so.

Warren County Junior Firefighter Competition

One might wonder how a Jersey City fire fighter ended up participating in  Junior Fire Fire Fighter Competition in Warren County, North Carolina.  No wonder at all.  My Dad was born 8 miles from there in Littleton, NC.  I was invited to speak at the African American Heritage Festival last year, when they honored Firefighters.  There I met some great folks….Fire Chief & Mayor Gardner, Chief Advisor John Franks, Chaplain Stith and J. Greene.  As firefighters do, we hit it of.  I told them about my years of coming back to North Carolina and about my love for our noble profession.

They shared the workings of the various departments and EMS.  Our friendship was formed.  Firefighters are the same, all over!

What an excellent couple of days spent with the Warren County (NC) Junior Firefighters, as they hosted the 2016 Junior Fire Fighter Competition.  I want to thank Chief Advisor, John Franks for his warm invitation and welcome to share with the Juniors.  We spent a great day with them and groups from West Virginia, Tennessee, Kentucky and neighboring areas.  The spirit of competition and camaraderie, among the groups and supporters, was a true inspiration.  I particularly liked the fact that on several occasions faster team members completed their tasks and rather than run on to complete their “personal best time”, they stayed in the zone and helped their teammates complete their task…an example for us all.

Hoseline tug-of-war competition. This was an exhilarating battle between several young teen groups.  Their perseverance and attention to details won the battle for them.  Stellar examples of  situational awareness!DSC_4334

Learned a great lesson from these young people…don’t give up and rely on your training.  There were several times that it looked like the battle would go one way. These young crews dug in and moved the barrel. I over heard a few of the coaches relate these incidents to fire fighting.  Telling them how hold the line, work the nozzle and how to back each other up.

Here is a unique chance to see teamwork and team-building, from the host group Warrenton.

There were several other events.  I’ll post more when I’m back…

 

Flashover in Union County

Spotted this great video excerpt on the Flashover Simulator at the Union County Fire Academy where I use to teach….

Great explanation and narration by my friend, Instructor Emmit Gardner.

…I miss my guys and gals!

FDIC2016: Kaizen & the 7 C’s

How do you improve on improvement? How do you make improvement part of an on-going process? This short clip is a session wrap up. It concludes with the theory of “Kaizen”; small incremental changes towards the greater good. Utilizing input from all areas.

‪#‎FDIC2016‬ Only 3 days before the largest Firefighter Conference in the world. (Over 30,000 FF’s and Instructors)

I hope you can attend but also hope you find time to stop by my workshop on Leadership. My session is April 19, 2016, 1:30 pm to 5:30 pm, Room 134-135 on the main floor. ‪#‎fireofficertrust‬

UPDATE: Retired PG County Deputy Carla Blue Killed

Funeral Services Set for Retired Deputy Fire Chief Carla D. Blue

The Prince George’s County Fire Department has released funeral service information for Carla D. Blue, a retired deputy chief killed in a weekend car accident.

Viewing will be held at 10 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 29, at Mount Ennon Baptist Church, 9832 Piscataway Road in Clinton.

The funeral service will follow the viewing at 11 a.m. Tuesday.

Burial immediately following the service will be at Cheltenham Veterans Cemetery.

http://wtop.com/prince-georges-county/2015/09/retired-pgfd-deputy-fire-chief-killed-in-early-morning-crash-saturday/

It is with great sadness that I share the news of the passing of Retired Prince Georges County Deputy Fire Chief Carla Blue. I met Chief Blue through the Carl Holmes Executive Development Institute; first as a student and then as an instructor.

I was always impressed with her professionalism and passion for people. She had a great caring spirit. She reminded us, firefighters, to remember to be human. We will miss her tremendously. Our thoughts and prayers are with her family, friends an d co-workers.

ProBoard Adds “Vets”!

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The National Board on Fire Service Professional Qualifications (Pro Board) is pleased to announce an initiative to assist the men and women of the Department of Defense (DOD), especially VETERANS RETURNING FROM SERVICE OVERSEAS in finding career and employment opportunities in the Fire Service when retiring out of military service.

Continue reading ProBoard Adds “Vets”!

A Place for Fire Officers and those who aspire to be…

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