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Week 1 Forum (B) – Cultural Change and Accountability

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Since there are 16 Firefighter Life Safety Initiatives and only eight weeks of class, we are going to discuss two initiatives per week in the forums.

Along with the required weekly readings, you should be using the website Everyone Goes Home.  The website is an excellent source of information, for you, that is devoted to the 16 Firefighter Life Safety Initiatives.  When using the Everyone Goes Home website, be sure to look at each of the 16 Firefighter Life Safety Initiatives sections.  Also, be sure to click on the Resources section of that website as it contains downloadable text and video resources that will provide you with additional information to answer the forum questions.

Initiative 1 – Cultural Change

Culture is defined as the values, customs, and traditions of a group of people or an organization.  It reflects the collective perception of right and wrong, good and bad, or desirable and undesirable actions and characteristics.  The 1st Initiative defines and advocates the need for a cultural change within the fire service relating to safety, incorporating leadership, management, supervision, accountability, and personal responsibility.

After reading the required weekly readings, and reviewing the 16 Firefighter Life Safety Initiatives section regarding Cultural Change on the website Everyone Goes Home, write a post that achieves the following:

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1. Discuss the need for cultural change in the fire service relating to safety.
2. Discuss the gaps between a safety culture and the existing culture of emergency services.
3. Please read the Case Study below and answer the following question:

Case Study:  As you sit on the front bumper of Engine 265 and watch traffic go by, it’s hard for you to believe that you are actually a firefighter.  You think back to how many times you walked, rode your bicycle, and drove your car past this building, imagining what it would be to look out of it.  Now you have a uniform, a key to the firehouse, and even a helmet with your name on the back.  You look forward to embracing the customs, culture, and traditions of the fire service.  You are eager to learn everything you can, ultimately winning the trust of your fellow members and officers.  It simply doesn’t get any better than this.

A. Do you think it is possible for traditions and safety to coexist?

Initiative 2 – Accountability

It is often very easy for a department with problems to play the “blame game.”  The fact is that a lack of accountability is one of the biggest complaints of employees in emergency services.  This has led to many in the industry throwing out the “no accountability” flag.  The 2nd Initiative asks us to make a personal commitment to accountability regarding health and safety issues at all times and at all levels of our fire service.

After reading the required weekly readings, and reviewing the 16 Firefighter Life Safety Initiatives section regarding Accountability on the website Everyone Goes Home, write a post that achieves the following:
1. Please read the Case Study below and answer the following questions:

Case Study:  It’s been a couple of months since you got assigned to Engine 265 and you’ve enjoyed working with some of the best firefighters in the area.  In fact, you couldn’t have gotten assigned to a better lieutenant.  He has the respect of your entire crew as an experienced firefighter, instructor, and leader.  One day he asks you if you know what the key to being a great firefighter is.  You think about it and respond with words like bravery, knowledge, and safety.  He tells you they are all important, but without personal accountability, none of them really matter.  You walk away trying to figure out what he meant.

A. What is personal accountability?

B. What does bravery look like without accountability?
C. What are the advantages of organizational accountability?

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