#11 – The Federalies are Coming! (A Little Humility is Always a Good Thing)

Hi everyone. The picture here is a good depiction of the fire that this story describes. Although the story isn’t about fighting the fire, it’s about the interactions between the firefighters who are fighting the fire. As I look back on things, fighting the fire was routine. The interactions with my co-workers and others involved was the challenge and what I remember most of all. The point of this story is how important it is to walk humbly. The fire where this story takes place wasn’t particularly difficult or challenging but it definitely wasn’t going to go out by itself either. What I had to pay the most attention to was the human element. And as you can imagine, dealing with human emotions is probably more dangerous and risky than fighting fire. So… I hope this one makes you giggle a little. As you will hear… it still makes me giggle.

Episode 11, The Federalies are Coming! BobbieOnFire.com

9 thoughts on “#11 – The Federalies are Coming! (A Little Humility is Always a Good Thing)

    1. First off, love your name. 😀 as for how many teams he might have interacted with, I don’t know. But he definitely had a bad opinion of incident management teams that he perceived as being federal. he turned out to be a great guy. He was just so stressed when the team showed up that I think he was just reacting with the stress. Thanks for commenting though.


  1. Just wanted to share – I enjoyed this episode #11 and also #43 – I’ve been editing my late husband’s two books about his long career as an Oregon DF Mgmt Forester, which began and always included summer and prescribed burns. He began in the 1960’s as a fire-line grunt and was on a number of fire Teams during his final years before retirement, with experience in several Opp and camp support roles on Project and Complex fires. (The first book is out; the second will be released in another month or so.)

    What I find kind of spooky is that years before your stories took place, he had experienced (and included the tales in his books) almost exactly the same situations you described. His slant was from the smaller agency side, but his opinions about the interpersonal relationships between agencies was identical. One of the main reasons those books exist is he didn’t like the unnecessary conflicts between agencies, and he wanted to help educate agency people and the public about the dangers of blanket policies administered by badly placed personalities preventing responsible people from getting their difficult jobs done properly. His plea was – “Aren’t we all on the same team?” He had hoped things had improved in the last twenty years. Sad to know its still a big issue. Seems like after half a century of such foolishness, some effort should go into looking for solutions. JD


    1. I am so happy to hear from you. You might have read That in my career I worked for the federal government, a state forestry agency and a local fire department. I had a considerable amount of time in each of those agencies. And I totally agree we are all the same. But no matter what agency you work for the culture seems to be that “we know best”. I think it has to do with spirit de corps But instead it creates animosity, unhealthy competition and less productivity for the public. No matter who I worked for, “the other guys” never knew as much as we did… Or they don’t know how to fight fire like we do… It drove me crazy. It’s a shame and it makes us all less efficient and the public deserves better. I was never successful at changing the culture of any of the agencies I worked for. I’m so happy you are listening the stories.


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