Firefighting, Leadership

EDUCATION VS. EXPERIENCE

Issue 1 and Volume 159.

Bob Dylan wrote the song “The Times They Are A-Changin’” back when some of you reading this may not have even been born. I was never a big fan of Dylan, but the words and gist of the song are very applicable to today’s fire service. Today’s fire service is changing-every day! I hate to be a fatalist, but firefighting as we know it today is a dying occupation. There is one reason for this: the automatic sprinkler. To quote Vina Drennan, whose husband, Fire Department of New York Captain John Drennan, died of burns suffered in a flashover, “We know how to stop fires.” She speaks the truth. We in the United States know how to stop fires. Now, don’t get me wrong. There will always be hostile fires. There will always be arsonists. Additionally, automatic sprinklers are mechanical devices, and, at times, mechanical devices malfunction. There will always…

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