Duty, Service and Valor. At no time in the fire service’s history were these words better personified than on September 11, 2001 when 343 FDNY firefighters gave their lives to save thousands during the attacks that day. A bittersweet day, 9/11 not only made America proud of its firefighters but it made our job, already one of the most proud and respected professions, a little more profound. Remember that it is our selfless duty to serve the public and, if necessary, act with valor to save savable lives and property even if we have to risk our own life. Never forget!
Many of today’s risk management theories are used for STRATEGIC LEVEL decision making (i.e. “go” or “no go”). Though “go” or “no go” risk management theories are valid, they are only as good as the information we get when we show up. Firefighters still die in fires that were determined to be “GO” fires. DOES RISK ASSESSMENT STOP AT THE FRONT DOOR? What about TACTICAL LEVEL risk assessment when you are definitely “GOING”? If we want to save firefighters’ lives, we have to start LOOKING UP!