Firefighter Training, Firefighting

The Fire and Emergency Services Culture: Can It Be Changed?

Issue 8 and Volume 169.

By Brian R. Brauer The term “culture” is thrown around a lot, both as a positive descriptor for our commitment to the mission of saving lives and protecting property and also as a negative for the darker side of our fire service-for example, discrimination, hazing, and actions that lead to duty injuries and deaths without the likelihood of a reward commensurate to the risks taken. What is culture, and how does it impact the fire and emergency services? The topic of a fire and emergency services culture has been at the center of my research since I began as a student in global human resource development (HRD) at the University of Illinois in 2004. I ran across the concept in an international HRD course and conceptualized that if you looked at fire and emergency services as having different values from those of our U.S. society as a whole, it helped…

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