In life we don’t always get a second chance. It’s great when we do get that second chance but it doesn’t always happen. Hopefully we learned from an earlier experience and improve the next time. Life is just a series of experiences and opportunities for learning. Sometimes I’m not sure I’ve learned the lesson and maybe that’s why I have to repeat a similar experience over and over. Kind of like Ground Hog day. But in the fire service we use a simple exercise called an After Action Review or AAR. It’s just a simple process where the people involved review what happened and consider what might have been done differently and better the next time. It’s a great way to learn. This is common in the military as well as the fire service. Other groups use the AAR exercise to learn from as well. We would all benefit from conducting group AAR exercises or even just personal ones to improve our performance.
Today’s story is about a time that as a Captain of an engine company I really messed up. But I was fortunate to have an opportunity to learn from my mistakes and get a do-over. I was thinking of how it might be appropriate to think of this story in terms of our current Corona Virus situation. I hope we as a country as well as individually learn how to do better next time. Stay safe everyone and pay attention to the Center for Disease Control and your local officials. The life you save might be that of your firefighters, EMTs and hospital workers. Thanks for listening.
3 thoughts on “#35-Ok Guys, I Know I Screwed Up.”
Bobbie, I know we have crossed paths. I worked on the Gifford Pinchot NF in fire starting in 1977. Retired as the Regional Fire Planner Pacific West Region NPS in 2009. Contracted writing fire plans and associated EAs for NPS since. I want to share a link I think could help women in fire. If you think this may be helpful feel free to spread the word through your contacts.
Disclosure: Kristina is my daughter and Breanne is my daughter in law. Kristina grew up in a Wildland fire family as my wife Carol was one of the original women in fire in the late 70s as a seasonal and later a Finance Chief on multiple IC Teams. I know that women still experience challenges in their fire careers and feel that Kristina and Breanne could be of assistance. Enjoy your recollections. Thanks for your time. Rick
I enjoyed your review of the EMS incident #35. First, I have to confess you & I know each other and worked in FIRE/EMS together for several years. I agree with you that one of the most significant attributes ALL responders can have is… recognizing if & when things don’t go as well as YOU KNOW they should … YOU take responsibility for the error/mistake/oversight & use that experience/lesson to become a better Leader! As you may know I have been retired for some time now & want to thank for sharing your experiences & lessons with so many Men/Women who do this job Today! It was great working with you & keep doing what you’re doing now, you should be Proud.
Thanks Don. We’ve both had a long and worthy careers with lots of stories. Let’s get together after the holidays and tell some of them.