Many of us are formal leaders. Some of us are informal leaders. Maybe we aspire to a higher leadership role. But all of us are leaders in some way or another. But even experienced formal leaders may not have been tested during a crises. It all depends on the kinds of jobs we have and maybe bad luck. Today’s story is a bit about when my leadership was tested but it’s really about how we see ourselves in that leadership role and how we prepare ourselves for the “big one.” My good friend and amazing fire leader Curtis Heaton joins me for this story. I hope you take home some important lessons today As always, thanks for listening and if you haven’t read my book yet, check out Both Sides Of The Fire Line. Thanks.
Episode 87, How Are Your Leadership Skills In A Crises? BobbieOnFire.com, December 1, 2022
Firefighters will recognize what might seem like unusual or unique situations to the public becomes common place for emergency responders. The public might not realize just how often weird things happen. But for firefighters, that’s our bread and butter. Poor decisions and whacky behavior is what gives us job security. if everyone behaved maturely and with good intent, we would be responding to fewer calls. Today’s story is about a couple instances that you might be surprised to learn about. I hope you have a great day and enjoy listening to this short story.
Back in the mid 1980s, I got a fire assignment to take a strike team of type 1 engines (city fire engines) to southern California (from Arizona) for a large wildfire that was burning into a city. This was my dream. I always thought that southern California wildires were the most challenging and exciting to fight. Over the 45 years of my career I fought many fires in California and throughout the US but California fires are often very unique. Any large incident is going to have it’s complexities and the more influences on a fire, the more complex it gets. Politics, fire behavior, fuels, wildland-urban interface, etc etc. The complexities in southern California are endless. Fast foward about 20 years… Today’s story takes place in 2003 and I was involves a simple assignment I was given on another large California fire. I was told to take 6 bulldozers and build a fireline behind an affluent subdivision and prepare to burn out the fireline in preparation of the main fire coming down the mountain. Seems like a simple straightforward assignment. But nothing ever turns out to be that simple or straight forward. Listen to what happens but keep in mind what can happen to your at your job. Remember, have realistic expectations and be flexible at work. You just never know what might happen.