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FDIC 2007: Jerry Tracy

Fri, 22 Feb 2008|

Fire Department of New York Battalion Chief Jerry Tracy talks about the benefits of good role models and professionalism in the fire service.


Automatically Generated Transcript (may not be 100% accurate)

-- -- might take from tremendous pride introducing the next speaker. Many years ago as outside of R&B you know when -- New York City afternoon and -- pulled some holes -- the truck to clean and well. When this guy runs from behind -- this is a -- let me help you would tighten. Together we start -- the -- is so underrated ask him where words what -- -- wayward piece is the Bronx. So I've been introduced myself and was selected all Stein uses you -- farming on my duty -- R&D. He comes Ronald finally guys is -- she's my contacts and -- taken the hose from -- hands. I'll tell you that's Jerry tracing his health and everybody can win every ten wherever -- can. He didn't vote to -- is saying -- -- in my battalion chief. You know and -- -- -- he came to me to help me load that -- and he had no idea that I just some nobody. From Albuquerque. You know it's functionally the -- thing to do some research -- just -- a lot of firemen work -- -- instinctively. He wanted to help. From that day on Jerry's that -- my best -- is a great supporter really a great source for information he's brilliant. And for most the time for me he's been real rock and somebody that go to -- times of need and real inspiration. Terrorism of those rare people -- is never threatened with -- new ideas new technology. Really changing dynamics of our industry. He finds everything in life to be interesting useful and beautiful. -- is kind he's hard working and he's very very intelligent. -- called -- tracing my friend and I do that was tremendous pride. And he's. One of the men when Mueller calls his -- got in my -- several times my mom calls Jerry Tracy off buying New York City. Gentlemen. And you can't mess from Lima there's in my mind this is -- gentlemen. You know he's just -- those very gracious beautiful people. A little bit about -- just thirty years of experience for the fire department New York City. He's currently battalion chief and an adjunct instructor would -- -- -- in my training academy he's developed numerous training programs. From the ranks of firefighter all the way through chief. -- -- instrumental in forming partnerships which is one of the things he does best. -- it -- that in training research it doesn't matter with all kinds of agencies and organizations. Including yes the National Institute of Standards and Technology. Look -- Polytechnic university had added some new university university. And he is published numerous articles and fire engineering it was New York firefighters. He's -- to overflow crowds your spirit FDIC. He's one of our advisory board members always gets the highest praise is one of the greatest guys the American Forest Service that he really is. Please help me with them -- Brothers sisters welcome welcome for true FDIC hero. My friend and yours -- Tracy. Thank you. Good morning. Good morning. I am so grateful for this honor and privilege. To stand before some of the most dedicated firefighters in this location. On the planet. Idea this is it. This is a privilege for me. To meet you know. I've been attending the FDIC. Now for a decade. For those -- that don't know what that is. Ten years. And I can tell you what I've learned he -- And the people -- met along the -- have had major influence in my life and career. I can say with confidence that. Well. What it does to me. It continues. To rekindle. My passion. And purpose and desire to learn more. I can say with confidence thank you. The people of meant thank you room and bring -- -- just a little and you know some notice of adolescence. And my mother told me I was gonna need those glasses when it. And everyone of you'll agree with me. This conference and form it's certainly for -- It continues to excite and stimulate the very reason I wish to -- halftime. And I'm sure you'd say the same thing. When I would like to put forth today everyone here it's two key principles. And they ought to change. And influence. What a coincidence it was -- yesterday. Send them. Put forth influence. -- was -- reading my mind. Change and influence. Understanding the meaning in the implication of these two principles. Have made it possible for me to realize. My role as a firefighter. And can hold all of us in this journey of life. And Korea's Korea development. I will share it. I was she had some of the experiences of my career hat that have provoked my attention. My intention to change. And change Miami I'll also share the influences of others. That have presented lessons both couldn't dead. These two principles aren't elements of gearing up for tomorrow. And unless we have a focus direction and positive attitude -- never gonna get there. It was some thirty years ago. That my life changed dramatically. And becoming a -- After returning from Vietnam I had -- from private industry for some ten years. Having to bid the pressures of production plans work -- deadlines -- corporate agenda. It was a stirring moment when they in the -- house. If that having just graduated the academy -- a probationary -- -- that the most difficult decision we had to make finance bank. Was to decide. Whether to buy 5000 continues to -- with -- The prices of corporate America -- will -- But being a brand new -- front. I had yet. To experienced that moment at a fund. Where I'd be saying to myself. What am I doing -- And speaking of that feeling of fear that sensation of I'm gonna -- -- -- line. I'm sure most of the firefighters and has -- -- -- If you haven't experienced -- yet stay in this profession it's common. One day. You'll be on a hose line will -- be part of a search team. The smoke will be so -- it'll you can see is the inside your face -- And you're heading deeper into a building. A lodge building. Searching for fire or anyone was still unconscious. Is noise is noise and a distance it sounds like chaos and you're heading deeper into his building again searching for fine. The -- in your mind increase. -- -- -- -- How far -- yeah. -- -- -- It's time it's not too hot. Still can't see anything. The -- is busy this hesitation. Much you know I have left. Look -- like -- -- I find my way out. I was at a job. The beginning in my career I was at a job and -- taxpayer. -- the nozzle man was running out of here the officer ordered amount to replaces Obama. And what seemed like five minutes later he materializes and a smoke in front of us. -- walked. In off into a different direction. He was lucky to hear us in the smoke and then follows drawing out the safe. This could have been the Phoenix -- -- tolerance an instance when he is so. Now the -- they were conveying and -- -- school hazards and risks of being -- trying to became crystal clear. Yes this -- dangerous. This location is more than writing a big red truck what might desirous of the streets are stretching -- lines and the buildings extinguisher matches -- kitchen cabinets. If they're experiencing -- moment. Everything had no meaning. I'll tell you that 1977. The announcements being made to a class a pro -- -- that in your career as someone in that -- may be sitting right next to you. We'll be killed in the line ability. Thinking back on my comment. That the -- and since it was formed. An 1865. Had experienced on average the loss of four firefighters being. Of course there -- years without tragedy and there was some years with numbers greater than for. The pointed. A message was. To provoke -- retention and understanding. Of the task ahead and -- teamwork in diligence to duty. That's what the message wasn't -- The -- expressed was aggressive interior attack. And we brought that spirit into vacant burning buildings. Was -- the nature of the times that. Death was an expected risk of doing business. Well thankfully I will tell you that the masses and ferocity nominee and only mine opponent Clinton -- service is always changed. This is still arrest of a face -- today but hey we -- choices. And those choices. Those choices should be more than fight or flight. Aggressive interior attack would be regarded to as the fight the war. Don't even -- gonna surround and drown as life. Give me choices give -- tactical alternatives or different ways of performing. The operational tasks such as how should -- -- -- a final event with the venting a building of lightweight construction. Not -- fire has -- -- -- -- on or the direct frontal attack. And that means we may have to change -- -- it's. And aggression. Into an offensive approach to achieve the same result over the safety -- This change in -- may entail an adjustment in attitude. In the fire service of today each and every one of us is responsible. For our actions decisions. And interaction. Which means performance communications communicating on size. I didn't understand the true significance of that as -- young Feinstein. You know when my world. I operating the teams of -- -- I believe that my safety was in the hands of others in essence relieving myself of that responsibility. I felt confident operating alongside on the firefighters on the -- running yes teamwork was needed to get the job done. And played a major role in our overall safety. It wasn't until I experienced. Some tense moments at if you -- as they got my attention. And begin to realize that there was a lot more than I didn't know about this profession. Knows I like that at the time. We're not the role models I needed in my career. I can say. To say that they were not the role models and you in my career. That was rude awakening. I can't say that this is the first sign of maturity may be just the beginning of lucid -- this. The fact song -- our individual actions and decisions have a profound impact on our personal safety. And that of other firefighters in the publicly -- Those obligations are quite different from those -- -- corporate America. Because now the reality is a model carries the meaning of life and death ours included. The influences I was exposed at the time when not -- I was not given the direction as a pro -- and my colleagues when not setting examples I needed to instill discipline to keep me sick. The put things in perspective. -- needed to make some changes in my life. Not only a lifestyle -- an attitude Saturday Night Live wasn't the only program that featured a couple of wild and crazy guys. Working in the Bronx in the seventies the -- the experience this is the tail end of only is. The years that we're experiencing extreme fire and city it's -- the excuse to live wild and crazy. Yeah attitude adjustment began. With a self assessment of where was -- in my career. When it I want ago. Housing really get. In -- self assessment I had to take a look around me to see. What influences well good positive. And what was negative. Other questions well. Who -- want would help may become -- a firefighter because I wasn't gonna do that by myself. I've heard others remark hits volunteers all you -- -- -- the -- moron. What I needed. Was to look for and hang with those individuals. Whose actions not words. Reflected professionalism. We'll get to know and -- firefighters who -- the great fire. But their actions and performance on a five around a quite different they show no credibility. My decision at the time. Was to transfer into a lot of company in Brooklyn. Which is not only busy he's held a reputation of professionalism. That company. -- -- -- only. Referred to as. A hundred made. The pride of Williamsburg Brooklyn. This decision not only became a major turning point -- my. And change in my career. It influenced my way of thinking and attitude. -- a day I leave this earth. The firefighters of a 108. Not only trains me in this -- I was now working alongside firefighters that represented. The true meaning. Of character and crime. The pride they displayed is not so much as individuals. It was company -- They exhibited a high standard of excellence. And moral values you don't -- those words smoke until too -- -- a -- environment. Most firefighters displayed honesty. And integrity most synonymous with credibility. On the final -- they were self discipline -- that. They did not distract from their duties they hit their positions and in a truck those positions was. The growth for vertical ventilation. Outside event for search and ventilation opposite the fire the inside team. The search. And rescue conducting forcible entry. -- was an example of obedience to duty that personified company -- In time. After proving your commitment and demonstrated dedication. You would give in respect. Respect which is essential to effect positive change your personality -- -- -- -- -- Developed a database of information knowledge skills that will keep you safe. And be humble enough to. Ask for -- -- doing. Work -- others develop this skills. They may be in a position to save your life one -- What I gift -- was to work with these firefighters that she had this talent this feels positive influences. Which in effect change. My life they on the -- history and traditions of what a 108 was all about. They passed it on to me. And I'm -- and then on -- -- In those years when I left my house headed into work. I knew I was -- until work can fire -- tour of duty that mindset provoked preparedness. When we responded to -- long as we would fully dressed. Wearing it and having dawned on personal protection -- of the time including impacts. We were ready to go to war. And as I said he's -- self discipline. That was the influence and change I needed to set my career on the right track. Now for a moment let's take a look and see how the principles of change influence. Can affect your life gets it right. We're viewing your career. If you're just starting out -- vocation you need to look around and determined. Who walks the talk. Who run -- displays the disciplines -- their performance and actions and attitude. Rather than the blow Hyde who claims to be good at what we don't. Good man was this scene and the fact that a firefighter wants to go into burning buildings and he shows aggression. -- wanted to these burning buildings does not equate to professionally. There performance speaks today credibility not -- -- Looks normal and identify what those firefighters. That take time to make sure -- tools and equipment ready -- Look for the -- -- is that personal protective equipment properly. Friends since. Many firefighters in your with the palm and wearing the chin strap -- at home and comfortable veteran. I see in my again. These are the same firefighters will take chances and shortcuts -- -- safety. They're not true role models if anything they wanted to teach you bad Abbott's. I win my chin strap and I'll never ask you to do something I wouldn't do myself. If -- broken -- with bad habits is gonna correct deal. The only incentive you may have to warrant changing a particular haven't is that they get Aaron and -- -- this in this profession that maybe literally. Maybe we can change some habits are thinking. With this. -- yourself a -- fire. And you responding to a along for structural fund. In mind is busy with -- and apprehension of what to expect. You may be thinking if I just stay with my officer -- my upon and gonna be safe. If -- working with professionals. And by that I mean. It doesn't matter -- paid or volunteer. It's how you. On and this John if you're working with professionals they'll be talking teach -- long awaited a box location. They will be sharing information about the building the challenge -- to expect -- enhancing your ability to size up. In effect they'll be comparing you with the disciplines needed. To process information and instilling confidence and courage to perform your duties. That's to going to be done it is in ten world to the process of -- relevant. Then hopefully you'll emulate for the future you Korea and how you will pass on information and experience artists. What it's all about this is how we influence the future making an investment in this young firefight. The investment may pay dividends one day in the saving of a life. And that could be one of -- Long before that along came -- these -- -- welcomed you into the department with the unit. And those members that will conscientiously spent time with you going over the equipment going over the apparatus showing in the souls and quit aware restored. And detailing. How and why was used. He explained what was expected of you. And how they operated as a team. This is the stage and -- Korean. You try to absorb everything you can -- listening in and serving at every file emergency and training period. Everything is new and exciting -- paying attention is easy. Now. -- -- fast forward five to six years. You've -- -- -- few good flies more than a few motor vehicle accidents. Numerous training drills. It's got -- feel once its winds. And you've proven incapable of doing his job. Now. You have an opinion and you know afraid to share it. Some firefighters at this stage and and the mindset and training drills kind of they've heard all this before and they may not give it the attention they did -- -- -- five fun. It's possible that you've been involved in a close call and you've learned something from it. All the event happened and union Timor unaware of it. Because the -- the event was gonna critique symbolism was lost. This is a period. -- you have to being mindful of your attitudes and disciplines. In response to slip because you confidence has begun to create. It's a period in -- -- -- you become a positive and negative influence. If you want to complacency and let somebody else points announcing yeah you'll only be validate somebody else's complacent out of that. Those with less time although we looking -- for advice and guidance because you're an imposition along well. So your influence is important. Those firefighters with wants Kenya. There's going to be looking at you observing. You based upon. Their attitudes. If stay on of the -- and traditions of the company -- department your commitment and performance will be the make and crowd. -- disappointed. If you make them proud. You -- want -- respect and integrity. It can if you should disappoint them they should work with you towards improvement. On the other hand. If your performance and actions substandard. And that's the prevailing attitude of the manual work with. You'll all get along fine. Because. Whether it be reading about join -- team -- -- report. In the end -- beginning as the rest of us a lesson to be learned and finally becoming that role model. With little or no effort at all you'll be teaching us and showing this issue isn't -- -- On on those things that you were not doing or the things you should have been doing. He not been so fortunate. That's -- my Korean. I was influenced by members of all ranks and firefighters the chief. One coworkers. There -- role models they lament this and I consider them friends. Remember it it's a friend who shares. Many of you here today and had the privilege and knowing some of them. -- -- Andrew Fredericks. -- -- Dana -- to name a field. Or for -- -- where instructors here the FDA -- Sharing themselves. And their experiences before -- -- the supreme sacrifice and malevolent. What we just shared a recent story about chief -- -- Just loosely. I was innocent -- -- fire private dwelling fire in Queens and you'll. Testify was on the control. Having a conversation with the lieutenant rescue for all. Of -- a firefighter of a 108. He was -- Relating back to when he first came into the special operations. And he was -- -- our rescue training school. -- one of the instructors and on the -- trying to. It comes in. And he -- sharing. What it means to be a firefighter and -- rescue companies. And was funny because I throughout the name -- says -- this also this is -- was crisis. How can I -- knew exactly who is talking about. And then he says it. Next. Chief downing comes in to address the students -- rescue training school he he hadn't heard the first -- front he hadn't heard him speak. Chief -- He's now -- addressing these. New additions and these new additions like this audience cream of the crop of the department. Coming into special operations stand -- gonna work with the elite units. And he's sharing to them. The challenge ahead and what's expected. To work. In the rescue companies is NASA's slow -- back up and -- baby. Days ago. His message. Was completely different from the first class -- Again explaining the challenge -- -- He also said. If some of -- thing. Banning it in some points on -- creating you know at all it's time every -- He was honest and humble enough to admit that we can never stop learning we keep an open mind. In effect he was saying. Stay humble. Stay teachable. Ray was my immediate supervisor cause -- slide eighteen. -- can -- it was a tough course. Because he expected. Everyone -- special operations to meet the standards and -- standards of excellence. -- benefit the entire of the -- Week. Might be the only role models -- some firefighters. Would ever be exposed to want to find. Since when he responded to every foreign major emergency. Every fire fun. Or offices in chief would be observing it. Of our actions. Performance and disciplines. And quick to criticize -- we -- What's the moral of that story. -- -- down his message beliefs and moral character conveyed the epitome. And history. Of traditions history and traditions of the clients. He understood as we all should -- challenge the challenge we face becomes more complex every day. We have to keep pace of change in gearing up for tomorrow implies just that. Keep an open mind -- that you can accept change new ways of thinking -- new ways of operating. To repeat raise warrants. If you wanna of the belief that you've come to know at all it's time every time. The very fact that he took time out of his day to share himself. And his convictions. Was the influence he believed we needed to clarify on purpose direction and responsibility. He was also honoring his obligation. To be the guiding influence and set the tone of disciplines are required to work in special -- Now let's talk about the obligations of those of you here it has some time in the finest service and -- -- -- that have ranked. And are responsible for teens a front for the stock deal for a moment. Melanie is -- these questions. We have a few cowboys -- in that. Have passion and high spirits and maybe their actions will get themselves or somebody else heart. Of course. We also have firefighters. In on the promise that have no passion and spirit. And they just coasted through this profession as a social connection or promised pension -- contributing. Console. So what the rest of us. Have to make sure is that we set the example and -- and to provide change so that it can happen. As an officer seeing Amanda. Usually have -- now. Earns your respect by you performance. And you -- -- You'll representing history and traditions of -- appliance I was thinking maybe Floyd. It must be expressed in a new generation water is acceptable and one is expected. Exactly like those firefighters and a 108 when I was young -- flat. Do you remember one attributes and qualities of character I said they displayed. Her let me repeat them so you'll see how. They spell out the word history. Honestly. -- -- I. For integrity. -- Self discipline. -- -- -- obedience to duty. -- -- One. Is self be true. All of these actually set the standards excellence. PG mormons is that then. You have to be -- of everything. You'll have to be concerned with the readiness -- -- units -- department. And of course that includes right down to -- -- his level of performance. Some believe that it's a measure of training that's important problem well that may only be a collection of certificates. How well members operated as individuals and teams. -- is what measures performance. It includes this decisions. And actions. Of response. Size up. Apparatus positioning. -- -- The techniques of forcible entry. Coordinated actions. And efforts and search ventilation and attack that is -- stabilizing keep us -- safe. Every response offers -- the opportunity to observe these sanctions every response. If any amount is sufficient you have an obligation. To say something. -- do something about. And this can be accomplished as easy as reviewing a demand -- the operations. Just performed -- a fire emergency. They can be as informal. As -- boiling this doesn't jumping on the apparatus. Or posts -- -- back at the -- around. Just the fact. That you want interested enough to discuss and critique our collective actions include your was then -- -- -- Shows your level of commitment concern. And love. Of the members. To use that -- love. For some of this is soon -- or winning Corning. In our line of work. We get to realize there. Life is fragile. You might regret that you never took the opportunity. To say that for someone that had meaning alliance. -- -- -- -- -- -- -- And with that. I've also been given a gift from the -- that. My wife is able to. Join me here at the FBI say -- she. And pat has been a major influence in my life. -- -- make change. And I want to thank you for -- making changes in your life to accommodate me -- my career. Thank you. And I love -- For the rest of us. If you can't bring -- -- to say that word. In May be just the act of offering influence and promoting change would be just as appropriate. So I say each and every one of you. I love -- God bless you. And stay safe thing. Already. Thank you very much for being here. Just want to really say once more to all of you of -- came thank you this is alcohol really mean it would like to get to be sure what if we can. -- -- god bless -- -- convention next year thanks to run an assembly for coming this is credited god bless. God bless you all.

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