As I sit at the computer to write this newsletter, I heard of the passing of two police officers in our state. The first was in Racine when an off-duty officer attempted to interrupt a robbery in progress, Officer John Hetland. In Milwaukee, and off-duty officer on the way home is hit and killed by a 4-time OWI driver who failed to stop for a red light. It truly is a sad state of affairs our society has gotten to; we have such little regard for obeying laws and respect for life. I have many comments I could make at this time, but in fear to offend someone, I will keep these to myself. I ask that you keep the families and police departments in your thoughts and prayers.
Mother Nature is still tempting us with nice weather, we shall prevail and adapt to what is given to us, be it rain, wind or sun. As training officers we are often challenged to provide the safest most effective training.
I have noted that many of our departments are sharing training opportunities with their departments. As a veteran firefighter and past officer, this is refreshing to see this type of cooperation and interaction. I can tell you 40+ years ago this cooperative training and incident responses would not have happened. Today we are trained to the same level of expertise and the more we work together the better job we do for “our customer,” as said by past Chief Al Brunacini (Phoenix Fire Department).
Being able to do what is expected by “our customers” is accomplished by being trained to do what is needed with equipment capable of doing the job. It has been my philosophy that training is primary to do our jobs as firefighters and emergency medical responders, second is to have the equipment needed to do the job right to save lives and properties. More and more I read about departments that are not allowed to purchase updated equipment to stay safe and to do their jobs. It is imperative that we as first responders continue to stay connected with “our customers” with press releases, open houses, promoting the positive effects we have on the community. In these challenging times we need to stay connected with our local government officials and state legislators. Getting people to join is imperative for our departments to stay vital and functional.
I strongly urge our members to talk to your state legislators about the proposed B.R.A.V.E. Act which would create incentives to help retain volunteer services Wisconsin desperately needs. B.R.A.V.E. is an acronym for—“Beginning Retention, and Attraction for Volunteer Emergency” personnel.
We sent out a survey as to what our departments would like to see for training for the upcoming year. One of the sessions we are contemplating is hosting a September date Basis Rapid Intervention Team training at the “Slinger House.” If your department would be interested in participating in this great hands-on educational experience please advise President Ron Naab. The Training Committee can only provide training you desire by knowing what is desired. PLEASE RESPOND!
Reminder to all, that taking care of our own is a primary concern on ALL calls. Remember Gordon Graham says, “What is predictable is preventable.” Having responding member hurt or killed will only focus our attention to the firefighter and not our patient.