Not all superheroes wear capes.
Some of them are firefighters, police officers, emergency medical technicians, paramedics, active military personnel or anyone involved in saving lives and helping people overcome tragic events.
The sad thing is that you are caught in the middle of everything. You experience so many emotions at the same time and you often have no idea how to put yourself back together. You refuse to open up, because everyone sees you as the hero and if the hero appears to be weak, what hope do we have?
This book is dedicated to our silent heroes who stake their lives every day for our sake. You don’t have to suffer in silence anymore. This book will help to open up your emotions and offer you tips on how to overcome the internal struggles in you face.
Don’t give in. Don’t give up. We’re counting on you!
Thanx all, for supporting the Amazon launch. What started as a blog post and chapter for a buddy’s book turned into an ebook and short paperback. It is my fervent hope that it helps someone. Share it with you co-workers, colleagues friends and loved ones.
Stop suffering in silence.
Katherine Thais Ridenhour, retired Battalion Chief, Aurora Fire Department (CO), is passionate about teaching competent and confident leadership on and off the fireground. Her classes include strategy/tactics, command, conflict solution/problem solving, leadership and promotional preparation.
Katherine’s experience spans 25 years in Tech Rescue, FEMA/USAR, EMS, Training Division, Diversity Board and past President of Women in the Fire Service. She also spent 5 recent years after retirement as a volunteer firefighter and feels privileged to understand the rural side of the fire service. Her passion for presenting exceptional teaching methodologies has earned her multiple requests to teach at various departments, and she is proud to serve the volunteer side of the fire service in that way. She also has extensive teaching at various Department of Defense bases including the United States Air Force Academy, Tyndall Air Force Base and the entire Northwest Navy Region.
Katherine has taught nationally for years at such conferences as FDIC, FRI, the IAFC Metro Chiefs, the IAFF Human Relations and Redmond Symposium, as well as various state conferences.
Despite being retired, she is an avid student of the fire service and keeps current with all the latest trends. She has mentored at least 1000 firefighters to assist them getting promoted to various positions, including Chief of Department and is still sought after for those and her teaching abilities. She is grateful to have had a great career and the opportunity to teach around the nation in order to give back to the fire service.
I had the distinct honor of talking with Chief Ridenhour about her experiences in the Fire Service. Her work on exposing the practice of “Bullying” in our industry is well known, as she is a sought after lecturer and keynote speaker.
Take the time to listen to this in-depth episode that focuses on several issues in our workplace.
GLUE is a universal resource for the growth and development of EMPOWERment paradigms. This program is certain to develop strong leaders in all ranks of your organization.
The “GLUE Guys” touch on vital issues that reaffirm the connections to the communities and people we serve. Their unique brand of leadership empowerment brings focus on the individual leader and their growth through principled leadership!
I have been following the G.L.U.E. Guys for quite some time now. Their innovative approach to leadership development has the all-access flavor that is necessary in today’s business market. Although I have primarily seen their work in the emergency management sector, I recognize those foundational principles that are the hallmark of successful leaders and organizations.
June 17, 2018
Listen in on Monday, June 18, 2018 at 6:30 PM CST/ 7:30 PM EST.
Leadership Development Concepts, LLC is dedicated to improving lives through personal development and building a path to personal leadership.
Transformational Leadership with Fire Chief Reggie Freeman
While attending a community event in the City of New Haven, Hartford Fire Chief Reggie Freeman and I got the opportunity to “chop it up” and discuss his passion with Transformational Leadership. Chief Freeman’s approach to management is crisp and to the point. He has the innate ability to inspire and encourage leaders.
Please give a listen and share this great insight that Chief Freeman has been espousing all over the globe.
Reginald D. Freeman, MS, CFO, FIFireE
On February 1, 2016, Reginald D. Freeman was sworn in as the 37th Fire Chief/Emergency Management Director for the City of Hartford. Prior to the City of Hartford, Chief Freeman served as Fire Chief for Lockheed Martin Aeronautics in Ft. Worth, TX also known as U.S. Air Force Plant 4. In addition to his duties as Chief of Department to the team in Ft. Worth, Chief Freeman provided international guidance and direction to the Italian and Japanese governments through the Ministry of Defence by providing training and consulting to each nation’s Air Force Fire Department personnel, respectively as it pertains to the F-35 Lightning. Furthermore, Chief Freeman served as the Assistant Chief/Deputy Director of Emergency Management for the City of Hartford, CT as well as Fire Chief for Lockheed Martin in Marietta, GA. (U.S. Air Force Plant 6) where he was named Professional of the Year in 2009.
Chief Freeman served in Iraq as a civilian Fire Chief for the U.S. Department of Defense and coalition allies from 2004 to 2008, providing all hazards fire and emergency services to forward and continuing operating bases throughout Iraq. His last assignment was at their headquarters on Camp Victory in Baghdad as the Chief of Compliance, Safety, & Planning where he helped managed more than 700 firefighters and nearly 25,000 calls per year. He has worked in a number of fire service capacities in his career including Firefighter/Emergency Medical Technician (EMT), Fire Captain, Fire Service Instructor, Assistant Fire Chief, and Fire Chief.
Chief Freeman’s educational accomplishments include a Bachelor of Arts in Leadership from Bellevue University in Bellevue, NE. He earned his Master’s Degree in Executive Fire Service Leadership from Grand Canyon University in Phoenix, AZ and he is currently a Doctoral student in dissertation phase studying Organizational Leadership with an emphasis in Organizational Development. Chief Freeman is also a graduate and Fellow of Harvard University’s Senior Executives for State & Local Government program at the Kennedy School of Government. Chief Freeman previously served as the Chair of the Industrial Fire & Life Safety Section for the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) and a previous Board member of the Executive Fire Officer Section of the IAFC and Technical Committee member of NFPA 1021 (Fire Officer Professional Qualifications), respectively. Additionally, Chief Freeman serves as the Chair for the Commission on Professional Credentialing via the Center for Public Safety Excellence, Inc. and is also the Director of Training for the Caribbean Association of Fire Chiefs. Lastly, Chief Freeman is an accredited Chief Fire Officer (CFO) through the Center for Public Safety Excellence, Inc. as well as a credentialed “Fellow” with the Institution of Fire Engineers, USA Branch. Lastly, Chief Freeman serves on the Board of Directors for NFPA.
Chief Freeman is an Adjunct Professor for Anna Maria College and the University of Florida where he lectures in both undergraduate and graduate Fire Science and Master of Public Administration programs.
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)
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.
- 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!
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
Being Chief has nothing to do with your title. It has everything to do with your choices—those that bring out your best and the best in people around you. Anyone can be Chief.
Rick Miller is a confidant, author, and speaker who can help you unlock your potential and the potential of everyone in your organization. He has a track record of working with Chiefs of all levels doing just that.
Rick Miller describes how Chief titles are widely used today for people with power, but don’t accurately reflect what it means to be a Real Chief. Rick asserts that Being Chief is about making a choice rather than gaining a title. Learn how to unlock your power and be a Real Chief. www.BEINGCHIEF.com
In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized.* (*Subject to certain rules and regulations)
Great message by Rick Miller who gets it. One of my firefighters sent this link to me and said that it reminded her of me, in some ways. I am honored and wanted to share this link with others. So many people have the title Chief and that’s all that they have.
I hope that I embody and represent some of the traits that Rick speaks of.
I joined the Fire Smoke Coalition years ago. It was not until I got their information at FDIC (www.fdic.com) and reviewed it that I found a wealth of resources that can change firefighters lives.
The mission of the Fire Smoke Coalition is to focus the required attention and resources on the deadly and life-long consequences of breathing fire smoke by teaching firefighters and first responders how to Prevent, Protect, Detect, Diagnose, and appropriately Treat the exposure if it occurs. The Coalition is comprised of firefighters and the medical community – all who embrace the challenge of teaching firefighters how to stay alive – and prevent the disease, illness and death associated with today’s deadly fire smoke.
This post links you to an interview I had with the organizations Executive Director, Shawn Longerich. Her candor and passion for firefighter safety permeates this discussion.
Please visit: www.firesmoke.org for further information and resources. Support the cause that is focused on firefighter safety and health. We can do better!
Shawn Longerich, Executive Director
Some people say that the toughest change or transition for them is from firefighter to officer; it would be the same in any profession or industry, when you move from worker to supervisor. Just as in the private sector the move and transition is task, role and responsibility specific. In some cases it is even physical…
In most professions, a promotion is seen as a reward. In our industry it is more function specific.
You may go from driver to the other front seat with no controls; driving in a vehicle all alone or be driven by an aide. I have ridden in all of them. Each has its place and each has its own unique perspective.
In my profession people say that the toughest change or transition for them is from firefighter to officer
They may be right if:
– You weren’t serious about the job or your responsibilities, to begin with.
– You didn’t make the investment in yourself to study and become proficient
– You don’t like people (the ones you serve or the ones you serve with)
– You are one of the guys/gals and can’t distinguish between leader / follower
– You lack the courage to change yourself and circumstances when needed.
I don’t want you to think that I am bashing anyone or being cruel. I’m not. Some Officers are honest and tell me that they went for the higher rank, solely, for the higher pay. (To me, that’s wrong… although not criminal…and now I’m off the soap box)
There are other reasons for this. I have had the pleasure to work with and speak to hundreds of fire officers in the last thirty years. Each of them brings something unique to the office and many bring the same thing. I am finding more and more that they are tool and task focused, as opposed to the overall operation or mission.
When you make the change, there must also be a transition.
You must understand your role and responsibility.
So, if you are a person aspiring to be an officer or manager:
- Learn your job well, first
- Study and train for the position you seek
- Network with incumbents who have been there, done that and have been successful
- Select and establish rapport with a mentor or role-model
- Focus your efforts with a positive attitude
If you are already that person and not sure:
- Perform a self-audit:“Ask yourself, am I doing all that I can?”
- Study and train to maintain your optimal level of proficiency and knowledge
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