Unscientific Culture Study: Boston

Cowboys, who do they think they are jumping in there without any SCBA on…

Fire in Dorchester, Boston, November 1982. Courtesy ‘fourdeuce1′. The tactics may have changed, but the principles still apply. More on this, the subject of firefighting (it’s dangerous you know) and whether or not various safety initiatives and programs have developed a culture of digital safety officers and keyboard battalion chiefs, later.

But first, what do you think:
- Has the electronic age reshaped your department’s tactics?
- Is your leadership more concerned with their internet credibility or feedback from the men and women in the field?
- If Al Gore hadn’t invented the internet and Dave and Chris hadn’t created Firehouse.com do you believe we would still see the safety programs that are so prevalent today?
- Take a look at the Bread and Butter video from Mississippi. Are they using 1982 tactics or are they trying to get by with what they have? Is that good or bad, in 2010? Is it easier to praise or condemn them since they are on YouTube?

This isn’t a knock against safety, by no means, but questions whether or not social media has helped or hurt firefighter safety. If you’re a safety officer of chief officer, we’d like your input for some constructive dialogue. Take a listen to FirefighterNetcast’s latest broadcast on Old School/New School for additional insight on the subject.
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2 Comments

  • Excellent find, Bill! Amazing to see what was considered “the way to be aggressive” in 1982. I saw more guys with packs outside than I noticed going in…

    I can’t help thinking of the headline that would probably have accompanied this video: Boston’s Bravest Rescue Two Victims in Overnight Blaze.

    By what I can glean from the video alone, these firefighters had SCBA’s but weren’t using them- under the direct supervision of chiefs and other officers. This leads me to believe that the safety mandates of today’s tactics weren’t completely embraced nor accepted.

    In 1982, my department wouldn’t think of going interior sans a pack. In 2010, there are still many procedures my department would never condone, yet are still employed by other departments.

    The unfortunate, yet inherent desire to criticize others combined with the immediacy and worldwide distribution that new technology offers often results in departments shying away from such exposure.

    Yet, the same technologies that scare some away presents unparalleled opportunities to learn.

    My hope is that we all reach a certain level of new-age maturity, where knee-jerk criticisms can be throttled so that departments increasingly share the wealth of what they have learned from their mistakes.

  • JPB says:

    even as this video as clear as it appeared, thank you to the video creator.
    Yes technology has changed as well as laws have been in place, and organizations have been created since the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire, Firefighters still do the Nomex jeans and Nike’s, rooftop ops with SCBA and no mask on, and it goes on.
    We all need to take a few seconds to wear what we are to be wearing, in that event, don’t compromise, be safe, don’t wait for a mistake to happen to learn from it…

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Comments
Bill Carey
What is Experience?
You're correct Ed. What did we do with that experience? Did we take as many lessons from as we could or did we simply file it away as a run in the logbook. Thank you, Bill
2014-10-30 12:55:18
Ed
What is Experience?
Excellent post. The same question may be framed for other than working on the nozzle (e.g., if delivering pump operator training). In addition, even if you went to a lot of fires on the nozzle or as the first in company officer, what did you do with that experience? Reflection and integration of the experience…
2014-10-30 12:37:50
Bill Carey
Wanted: Honest Discernment in Our Fire Service Discussions
Thank you Ed.
2014-10-22 14:26:50
Ed Hartin
Wanted: Honest Discernment in Our Fire Service Discussions
Excellent article Bill!
2014-10-14 12:47:14
Ron Ayotte
Complacency and Awareness: History Lessons from the Mog and Rangers
Bill.. I agree with Tony C. The situations we respond to sometimes reuire that we tune and tweak SOPs and SOGs "on the fly" in order to complete the tasks given. Fire doesn't care what is stated in our SOPs/SOGs.
2014-10-11 22:14:29
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