I have been fortunate to work in the fire service department for a period of over 25 years. During that time, I have been involved in two monumental, unfortunate events that changed my career experience forever. When I share these experiences from my perspective in the firefighter position I was involved in a Line of duty death of my Captain “my partner” during a roof collapse at a strip mall fire, a Captain and one of the first responding units to the Columbine High School shootings here in Littleton. Although the events were devastating, it was pivotal to my experience as it enhanced my capabilities and the need for examining the situations that need to change or improve. These events were unrecoverable, and it implied that extensive study was to be undertaken such as examining, investigating, critiquing, and providing a coherent report on the extent of the malice. As the fire service unit, we were able to perform these tasks with ease. In addition, these unfortunate events shaped my personality into a stronger person and a better leader.
Contrary to this, no department or person wants to experience a LODD; unfortunately, in most of the time, these are the events that shape the changes we traditionally fight in the fire service. However, critical thinking and tactical decisions are implied during the event. The basics of the fallen firefighter’s life safety initiatives as stated, “Everyone goes home program” posits that the safety and the well-being of the society and the firefighters must be observed to the latter. This program, unfortunately, was not in place at the time this LODD was initiated. The challenge that the current firefighters face is keeping the LODD strategy at the forefront of the fire service.
Indeed, it is not paramount for most of the people in the fire service to experience these events. In a normal scenario, it is vital to share these events and experiences with cohorts so that through a joint effort we can prevent and develop a safer path for our careers. The need for sharing these events arises in service since it is not possible to have an individual with the same experience as the other. For the onetime events like columbine, an act of domestic terrorism that most of us experience should be incorporated in our daily undertakings. This will mitigate the chances of proximity to risk occurrence, and eventual loss of resources and life. As such, changing our world with irrational devastating act of terrorism is devastating as it provides more of problems to our current situation than solutions. However, we still need to prepare to the utmost level of readiness for those worst situations or events that might occur in the course of our operations.
Most of us will never have to experience an event such as the one time domestic act of terrorism—for instance columbine—but in case of such experience, there is a need to examine all aspects that pertain to the fire service in order to enhance preparedness in the organization. Finally, with these events I have lived through and experienced, I will be able to share with other leaders in the fire service department. The events and experience that I have outlined will better the operations in the fire service sector, and ensure that the clients and fire fighting department, as a whole, implement strategies that will ease its operations.