The New Normal or Just a Break?
It’s been pretty quiet at work (Suppression, Camden Fire Dept. (NJ) the last couple of months. Sometimes you get a good week or two period with no ‘jobs’ (fires). But it’s been two months for us on 2 Platoon without a real good job. The last one we was during the string of multi-alarm arson jobs that made national headlines.
This brings a theory I’ve had since a campaign 12 years ago focused on identifying, cleaning out, and sealing vacant properties. End result: fires took a dramatic drop. So right after the big ones we had this spring , there was a brief campaign to clean-out and seal vacants.
Now we are coming up on the ‘busy season’. As the nights get chillier, the calls for oil burners and carbon monoxide are good for a couple runs a night. Vacant buildings on fire from vagrants attempting to stay warm are good for another one or two. And in Camden, last but certainly not least, we have arson jobs.
The number of fires traditionally have been good enough to justify a one day on, 3 days off work schedule (how sweet is that?!). And that’s without EMS runs. But now we’ll get to see if the last couple of months were just a lucky break. If the quiet continues, was it due to the brief focus this year on clearing out and sealing vacants?
Another theory is that the intense period of multi-alarm fires, news coverage, and insertion of arson task forces planted a meme in people’s heads that it’s not an opportune time to commit arson. Or maybe it’s a combination of both theories. Or could it be something way bigger?
In the book, ‘The Fourth Turning: An American Prophecy – What the Cycles of History Tell Us About America’s Next Rendezvous with Destiny“, by Strauss and Howe; the authors tell us how the generations now in adulthood are less prone to violence and acts of passion then the Baby Boomers of the last four decades. Except for the occasional blip in the stats, the statistical outlier, or maybe the brief expression of extreme social sentiment, the overall trend may be down for demand of public safety services. Time will tell. Man, these are crazy times (…or maybe not).
Social mood, point of recognitions, demographic analysis, and decision impacts are some things we take a hard look at in the Hardcore Leadership for the Fire Service newsletter (set for Spring 2012 release). If you are busting your butt to come up with some magic to deal with this economic mess then YOU DON’T WANT TO MISS OUT ON THIS. Hardcore Leadership is exactly what is says it is. Straight to the point, no B.S.!! These are times for solutions, moving fast, walking the talk. One idea can save you millions. One idea can save your job. One idea done right will save lives. Isn’t that why we’re here? Now take charge and get to work!