Engine Company, Firefighter Training, Firefighting, Structural Firefighting, Truck Company

Developing a Successful Approach to High-Risk/Low-Frequency Events

Issue 12 and Volume 171.

By JEFF SIMPSON   Jeff Simpson will be presenting “Solar Energy and the Fire Service” at FDIC International 2019. Current global news events have reinforced the idea that we need more than ever to expect the unexpected. Planning and preparation in the emergency services arena are critical; we continue to handle thousands of “routine” things that we do and continue to face more complex challenges. Recently, I presented Gordon Graham’s online video “High-Risk/Low-Frequency Events in the Fire Service” to the U.S. Fire Administration. I have seen it many times and use it to refocus my understanding on leadership and how the highest consequences occur during low-probability events—where most of the mistakes happen. These errors typically lead to issues in civil court and involve personal injury, organizational embarrassment, or both (Figure 1). Inherently, our service’s “DNA wiring” is based on the critical aspects of time with the goal of completing complex…

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