Challenge what you read.Â Â Â Dave LeBlanc
Editor’s Note: The Facebook page below has corrected their post and attribute the error to incorrect second-hand information. The fire department PIO reported that there was no bailout and no firefighter injuries.
Every day there is discussion about the â€œnewâ€ tactics and how we should be embracing change and improving our understanding.Â Â Every day someone tells us to stop complaining, that we are dinosaurs and unwilling to accept how different today’s fires are and how our tactics are out of date. When we push back we are stuck in our ways, unwilling to accept how dangerous our job has become.
Let me explain where our â€œresistanceâ€ comes from. It comes from the constant barrage of misinformation as posted below. It comes from people advocating for transitional attack, telling us it is an option, then posting statements like â€œâ€¦it is about â€˜hit it hard from the yardâ€™ at every fire.” That is not made up, but a description used by the ISFSI and some guy named Eddie.
It is about posts like the one pictured above. â€œFlashover forces bailoutâ€, yet neither was mentioned by the PIO in the original post. Just another example of making the incident fit the cause, to advance an agenda. When pressed, the conversation often results in both sides not being that far apart. Â If unchallenged statements like the above exist forever and many firefighters will never know the difference.
No fireman I have ever met, or discussed this profession with, has ever had a death wish. All acknowledge we need to be as safe as we can, while staying committed to the mission. That mission is lives and property. If you canâ€™t accept that, then go find another job. It was on the brochure when you signed up and it is what we are supposed to be doing. Yes there is risk involved, but the risk should always match the benefit of the action taken. Your safety is not my safety. Your fire department is not my fire department. Stop telling me I have to do something. Stop telling I am wrong for thinking and acting a certain way. Somewhere along the line the UL/NIST research results have been twisted into a message of safety above all else. Quite frankly that leads to more risk not less.Â Â If you go out the door with the mindset that you will die on every run, you really will never be capable of doing your job effectively.
â€œBeing tentative makes Johnny a poor fireman ultimately less safe.â€
Dave LeBlanc is a Captain with the Harwich, Massachusetts Fire Department. Dave entered the Fire Service in 1986 as a Call Firefighter with the Dennis Fire Department. He worked full time during the summers in Dennis, while attending the University of New Haven in West Haven, Connecticut. While at the University of New Haven, Dave studied Arson Investigation. He also was a volunteer with the Allingtown and West Haven Fire Districts in West Haven. He spent his sophomore year as a Live In student with the Allingtown Fire District. His education included internships with the Aetna Insurance Company and the Boston Fire Department Arson Squad.
In 1993 Dave went to work full-time with the Harwich Fire Department as a dispatcher. In 2000 he transferred into suppression and was promoted to Lieutenant in 2008. In addition to his regular duties, Dave also manages the Department’s Radio system, is responsible for conducting Fire Investigations, and assists in maintaining the computers systems.
Dave’s blog tends to focus on current day issues and maintaining a commitment to the ideals and principals that created the fire service, while keeping today’s firefighters safe.