Firefighting, Fireground Management

A Firefighter’s Mental Size-up

Issue 6 and Volume 170.

A Firefighter’s Mental Size-up I’m sure this topic will cause a lot of debate and will have people in an uproar, but I want to discuss the elephant in the room: mental health. On the fireground, we know we need a strong size-up for an effective initial fireground operation. However, we don’t take this same approach to our firefighters and their operational readiness. We can focus on training and having the best equipment possible, but if we are not mentally healthy, we will lose some of our effectiveness. Firefighter suicides are just now really coming to the forefront, and it’s hard to believe that we, as a fire service, are so set in our ways and traditions that we are still rather dismissive about the mental health subject. “We’ve done it this way for hundreds of years”; “That’s not how the old guys did it”; and “Maybe you are not…

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