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Dennis Compton interview

Wed, 18 Mar 2009|

Dennis Compton of the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation talks to Bobby Halton at FDIC 2008.



I am Bobby homes where on the road live from FDIC 2008. And I'm real happy right now -- brief conversation my great friend all the women over this for its. Dennis Compton who has currently been named the chairman of the National -- -- -- ordinance corrections thank you very much broader question for doing that that's true. Tremendous undertaking -- with everything else and you currently. It's something I'm really looking forward to than vice -- there for awhile. And on the board for awhile and then it's really -- to select. So was -- -- -- what are your what's your job when you take several will be responsible. Primarily responsible for policy. Direction with the board of directors. For their organization. We have an executive director of the -- the organization day in and day out routes aren't making. But but from my standpoint it's to provide leadership of the board of directors help that board provide policy direction to the organization. Be sure that from the standpoint of fiduciary oversight that's appropriate and and stay involved in the organization's well. It's outstanding and a fine organization with a great mission. A lot of people. Don't understand what the national for first it is and it really is a support group known for orphans -- -- for our service. In terms of what happens to one Duca. I think that the probably the families. Both them as -- fire -- and the firefighters -- -- a lot of issues to work through those things occur. Just doing -- -- excuse me -- catastrophic fires at all and one of the issues we have that the chiefs precluded. To the departments from participating just this last week so actually want today. So it's interesting issue between. Learning from what happened from these these -- -- -- tragedies. And protecting ourselves and lists. Society that's so -- litigation. And one of the things I liked the most about the involvement fallen firefighters foundation is when I loved represented organization because -- -- representing is that mention. And really what we're there to -- is -- help -- families. Over fallen firefighters helped the fire departments themselves who've experienced this. And then as of the last few years as you're well aware of us warriors. Do do what we can to help work with the fire service organizations. To prevent those situations from occurring to the best of our ability. And and the only way that we can be successful doing that -- with the -- for the -- organizations. And I think that that's. You know a lot of people talk about cultural change and I think that the word cultural behavior. Seem to get confused. It's a -- we're looking for behavioral change yes -- do in terms of lifestyle in terms of procedure. It's interest and there's I think now we're starting to realize that a lot of these -- that we're seeing are not. Through stupidity but they may be more technical errors on the learning curve. But the learning curve seems to have been -- cars -- -- the learning curve seems to have been a long dated and -- that makes sense. It does and I read your editorial this month that we're not killing firefighters -- we're not and I thought that was well said. Q what what really I think that we all need to -- As the firefighters can lose their lives -- and everything right exactly and that nobody goes to the fire station that day. Intentionally. To get themselves or anyone else hurt. And I think with -- -- what we try to work on what I hope all of the strike work. Is continuing to build -- in the capability of our firefighters and fire officers to make better decisions to have better behaviors. So that those that that that are preventable. The ones that sometimes we contribute to. Those are the ones that we can go after those we would we would blow by that goal of 25% by 201050%. By 2050. We'll figure is a great point and it has to do decision making. -- -- -- perhaps the decision making the decision Jamaica predicated an expert you. And our experiences now. It takes a much longer time in the fire service to gain the human experience that we -- in the seventies and eighties. Today because fires the fire numbers are just down. The problem is the fires they go to. Seem to be much more aggressive and a we're just talking about the home and fire Boston Chinese restaurant fire. Catastrophic fire multiple ways bases were -- -- done priest would. Things that -- facility you know it was a -- firewall in 20/20 hindsight yeah that's easy to see. But the man who went in for whatever reason -- -- what it was gripping from the ceiling coming down didn't recognize it. It's a -- it's not a normal liver was -- behavior where it was a technicolor. This is not technical or Stratton twenty and thirty years of the people's careers. Which is. That's -- we have to get in terms of decision making an education. That's the real issue in my opinion it's not about. It's not a though the social stuff closed part I think it is believed that the social stuff I think is is we've done a good job of bringing to the four. Now we need to really start looking in the tactical and technical stuff. -- -- I've got the technical mastery magazines such victories that and also I think the. That from a leadership -- is that -- -- if you look at them the primary. Areas that are contributing factors those two dollars and its heart attacks strokes it's vehicles that strategy. And its crew entered. And if you look at those over over over a wide stand and those of the from those injuries and deaths you can see that a lot of them are occurring in the sport. And and and and and the decision making part of I think to some extent especially when your folder and what you said about experience. This is who becomes almost a psychological and emotional training issue that have to be able to keep your mind in the game. And and be able to use the train and and and experiences you have had to help you in this situation but that's hard to do when -- -- and it. Emotional we had a great conversation like you -- good far off from New York City and he said every call I go to try to turn into a clause. Doesn't matter what the -- -- try to find something and he does he isn't -- he does. Every fire officer author America. Should make every call class is. Everything everything every day we have we make decisions. Which -- -- you want to make a turn which street to go up. We should take that as it was a farmers -- -- medical emergency room catastrophe. An overlay that our mindset even -- on -- call much user to make a decision when you don't have to do and simulation. And it -- -- real practice of -- those programs are gonna come to before I think I'm very happy to see what's happening in terms of those activities with national all of our Brothers. Is -- going to be active with the congressional our caucus and we have. That -- web commendable but the talk a little more about that so that'll be good so useful stay active without proof right. One of the favorite things I do -- work with the congressional fire services since I've been doing -- used to chair for okay and and then since bill is their next guest I'll tell you. That I've been there for most of the -- effective in the for the whole room. And what he has brought to that organization in his tenure there has been nothing short of remarkable. He is brought to a group together we now have a very clear set of things that we're gonna do each year we're no longer trying to be all things -- people. We have more influence today than I've ever received for our service have you heard that today. And human programs some people who -- know it was really a pleasure and I would never stopped being involved in -- until they ask me to. Bono I enjoy going there because I -- that I could affect things but just. Preach about things I can get concrete action started Dennis and I are working on the advocates for fire -- the -- Which I think some very important program. I think is reporting that people -- -- we're not we're not saying we wanna put priority of Minnesota business we're saying is we want to highlight want to emphasize we want to. Extend the quality service that the fire service can put out on the streets it into every neighborhood that we possibly can. Not the cost -- anybody else's jobs -- the exclusion of anyone else including effort -- all the players. -- -- engineering is very active. -- -- -- -- -- Conference that has. Private public. You know all kinds of players even cop show up. Chinese toys and lots of pictures but. All the disciplines come together at that show we have a great time and -- each other that the advocates for -- basically Matt's. Little bit about that -- that right now. We see that on. -- Steve Austin you know -- from Delaware for our service phoned her son's service the united. Are facilitating this process and we foreign steering committee -- steering committee is made up of five the 55 major -- organizations it's the I have fell off the I have -- the congressional fire services institute the NF BI and the national volunteer. Far council. And we have now. Been together for about a year. And in just a year of the medical community has produced a white paper. Really talk about the history and the current status of fire based EMS in this country. Which produced a dvd. That that it can be used as an educational tool not only outside the fire service but even inside the fire service from. As it relates to -- to our role. In the in this. We're speaking at a lot of conferences I mean literally national conferences including -- Have a few perfect I've used to stuff twice in the programs and I've done for you here this week. And very well received. And we're gonna continue to work with congressional leaders we're gonna work with policy makers in Washington DC. Because one of the things I think we assume that we should -- What's that book for the people in office currently understood the role the fire service plays and -- And I think that what we did was we rested on some -- work. That we have done years ago. And what we found out was that may not be the case no market market market -- it some more exactly and -- slower over time there. That's right and we're not advocating as you said we're not advocating against anything -- -- created for. Fire service based EMS systems and the advantage of having that system excuse. Well done associates say it's an absolute honor to have you here we go back -- forever but it -- -- -- analysts say before that -- to. It's so good to see it's good to see that. But you're still really at the -- you're still taken control of the things you can take control government always believe you have a fine vision great sense of organization. He managed to lead people without. A cattle prod or carrot and stick -- to you tend to leave people with. With vision and kindness and it's really nice to work but it's great to have you here thriller medication for -- and learned that from a lot of you guys if they do those because you'll. -- -- -- -- -- thanks for having me here that's -- -- council -- -- -- -- -- -- -- Can you be careful out there.

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