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Episode 34 – Firefighting: A whole new ballgame

Baseball DiamondThis episode discusses the long-term impact of the economic downturn of 2008 on fire department staffing and how firefighting strategy and tactics should be adjusted to the “new normal.”

In the near-miss segment, we discuss freelancing at a residential dwelling fire and one officer’s actions directed toward correcting the misbehavior.

Length: 43 minutes
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There is little doubt the economic recession of 2008-2009 had a significant impact on the nation’s fire service. Hardly a day went by where there wasn’t some news about an organization that downsized, rightsized or capsized. There are all kinds of terms being attached to what happened.

One I heard at the time was this will be our “New Normal.” This term seemed fitting as the fire service is facing changes unlike anything most have experienced… at least in recent times… and it’s likely to stay this way for a very long time.

Is this a pessimistic view? Or a realistic view? Many fire service leaders are not confident that fire department budgets or firefighter positions are going to return to their pre-recession levels. If they do return it may be a very slow process. Thus, the situation many fire departments find themselves in is The New Normal or what some might call a “paradigm shift.”

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