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Tailboard Talk: Is Your Fire Department Fat, Dumb, and Happy? - Leadership and Management

By Craig Nelson and Dane Carley Often, because of tradition, new firefighters begin their career in a fire academy or some other type of organized training by practicing the same skills over and over and over. We pull hose, bed hose, pull hose, bed hose, pull hose, bed it, and then pull it again. We throw a ladder, take it down, throw it again, take it down, and throw it again. We practice each critical firefighting skill until it becomes second nature. The combination of being young and feeling confident in our skills leads many to exude this confidence toward the end of the training--some may even become cocky. After graduation, the new firefighters move to a fire station and begin resp...

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