Pre-conference workshops continued into the afternoon on the first day of FDIC 2013 with one of the more consistently popular classes offered by FDIC: Seattle (WA) Fire Department Captain Mike Gagliano’s “Firehouse Excellence.” Although Fire Department of New York Captain Mike Dugan, who normally conducts the class in tandem with Gagliano, was absent, Gagliano picked up all the slack with his ample fire service expertise, offering a highly spirited and informative take on building and enjoying the type of firehouse that members hope to experience as a “home away from home.”
“If your firehouse isn’t quite what it could be right now, if I was to ask you to raise your hand and have you rate your firehouse on a scale of 1 to 10 and you tell me a 6 or less, I’ll bet that if I went and spent a day with you, I’d know what the conversation would be about.”
Gagliano also discussed the “Circle of Influence” (right) that each firefighter lives in and how he tends to spend more time worrying, arguing, and fretting about things that are in the “Circle of Concern”–outside his sphere of control–than focusing on the positive things that would allow him to make headway toward a more productive station.
“Where you spend your time, effort, and energy…if you’re out here [Circle of Concern], here’s what you can expect: no to little results.”
Students were encouraged to make their firehouse the most incredible experience of their life–a place of learning where skills are honed and techniques refined as opposed to being a stagnant cesspool where competence erodes into ineffective complacency.
“You want to be a change agent? Spend your time here and I have never seen a case where it does not work this way. You rock n’ roll inside your area of influence [Circle of Influence], you better hang on, hold on, because your influence is going to grow amazingly. I am a living breathing example of that.”