Unscientific Culture Study: Milwaukee

milwaukee_logoIt is often quite interesting to see what others define as “aggressive” or “interior firefighting”. It is also interesting to see the manner, or context, in which the definitions arise. Case in point, Milwaukee Wisconsin. Following the five alarm fire that hit while the department was dealing with house closings, a few local politicians began to seriously eye the city’s ability to handle multiple alarm fires and include outlying fire departments in their defense. This apparently became a sore spot for union president David Seager, who during a radio program, voiced strong opinion of the neighboring fire departments and subsequently defined “aggressive firefighting.”

“It’s blatantly clear that these communities, if called upon to respond to a working structure fire of any nature within the City of Milwaukee, they would have extreme difficulty … not to mention the fact that the City of Milwaukee conducts aggressive, offensive firefighting tactics, which means that we actually go into the building and fight the fire to reduce any further damage.”
Letter of response, West Allis Board of Police and Fire Commissioners
“Head of Milwaukee fire panel backs suburban firefighters” Journal Sentinel

It’s not as if the suburban neighbors are going to go off and pout and stop running calls in Milwaukee, if called upon. The commission president composed a well written response, and the head of Milwaukee’s commission did a polite political two-step in reaffirming confidence in his neighboring fire departments. However, neither response will carry the day like Seager’s definition of “aggressive” firefighting.

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3 Comments

  • Chuck says:

    Another ego speaking up. Maybe an aggressive interior attack when there is no life hazard to occupants could lesson the injuries and lives to firefighters. Its time to rethink the old ways. Dinosaurs lay Dinosaur eggs, meaning if we set bad examples for new firefighters than our firefighter fatalities will stay the same. Don’t be a dinosaur.

  • John says:

    Similar to the comment made by someone from the Chicago FD a month or two ago about suburban fire departments. That also went over like a lead ballon.

  • Josh Materi says:

    Chuck, how do we know there is no life hazard, what tools do you use to determine life or no life?

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Comments
Jeff chandler
44.7 Percent
Very good explanation! I have been known to have the same rant.
2015-01-17 03:58:59
Anthony Correia
44.7 Percent
Dave i agree with your whole post. However the one thing I'm not experiencing or seeing is the over safetyifcation. While i hear words spoke about being safe when possible, but not sacrificing service for safety. If anything, i see firefighters more aggressive than when i started many years back due to the increased protection…
2015-01-14 14:37:28
Jon Newton
44.7 Percent
Well done. You make some awesome points. In regards to the "numbers".....(and kind of backing up your thought of changing tactics), we have often wondered why there is so much emphasis on RIT and the RIT/Industrial complex. I'm on Chicago and have worked in the Chicago Suburbs for almost 20 years. We've seen the advent…
2015-01-14 04:15:23
Marshall Sampietro
44.7 Percent
spot on....
2015-01-02 14:43:50
Ron Ayotte
44.7 Percent
“Over safetyification”... Dave, that is the best description of what those who want to prevent us from doing the job want to do to the job.
2014-12-31 16:29:29
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