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The Action Training Systems Emergency Responder Blog

Guest blog written for Action Training Systems by Battalion Chief Robert Avsec (Ret.)

Rhoda Mae KerrBefore she became a firefighter and began a 30-year (and still counting) career in the fire service, Fire Chief Rhoda Mae Kerr was a coach and physical education teacher at the high school level for 12 years. It's not hard to imagine Kerr in that role, as she's widely known in the fire service for her infectious smile, laughter, and energy. When it comes to the embodiment of a leader as someone who strives to make the people around her better than they think they can be, Chief Kerr is a "five-star" performer.

Chief Kerr is a fourth-generation firefighter wit...

Guest blog written by Battalion Chief Robert Avsec (Ret.)

NFPA 3000

For only the second time in its 121-year history, the National Fire Protection Association is preparing to publish a new standard, NFPA 3000: Standard for Preparedness and Response to Active Shooter and/or Hostile Events, with provisional standard status. Provisional standards are developed when there is a serious life safety concern that warrants an abbreviated standards development process.

clark-burton 11691235Fire Service Leadership Profiles — Burton Clark
Guest blog written by Battalion Chief Robert Avsec (Ret.)

After writing the first leadership profile of Dr. Denis Onieal, the subject of the next article in that series immediately came to mind. Dr. Burton Clark, Ed.D., was a natural choice because he’s had a tremendous impact on my fire service career and likely hundreds of thousands of my colleagues over the year...

onieal portraitFire Service Leadership Profiles — Dr. Denis Onieal
Guest blog written by Battalion Chief Robert Avsec (Ret.)

The recent passing of fire service legend Fire Chief (Ret.) Alan Brunacini was followed by an incredible outpouring of condolences for the Brunacini family and the fire service around the globe. The posts on social media and on fire service websites provided an incredible array of stories, reminisces and a genuine love for the man who taught us how to be a fire ground commander and he also introduced us to "Mrs. Smith." And he took the title of ...

scene safetyFirefighters and medics working at the scene of a motor vehicle crash (MVC) are increasingly being exposed to the risk of becoming the victim of a secondary crash. We regularly see instances where first-responders are killed or seriously injured, or their apparatus destroyed, by the reckless actions of inattentive or distracted drivers. The situation for potential disaster is only exacerbated with more individuals with more technology in their care, traveling over poorly maintained roads and highways in many areas of the country.

One of the most important responsibilities for fire officers and firefighters...

Guest blog writtn for ATS by Robert Avsec

RFPA request for proposal, or RFP, is a business tool that should be used by a fire department’s leadership to ensure that your department obtains the most competitively priced goods and services to meet your organization’s training needs. A well-written RFP can ensure that your department’s expectations are clearly understood by potential vendors. 

For potential vendors, your RFP should provide them with a guide that enables them to accurately and completely describe the who, what, when, why, and how they will meet the expectations you set...

Guest blog written for ATS by Robert Avsec

General AviationWhen we think about airports in the U.S., most of us likely think about airports like Chicago's O'Hare Airport or Dallas-Fort Worth or LAX in Los Angeles. Those vast facilities with hundreds of take-offs and landings by planes of all sizes heading to domestic and international destinations.

What you may not know is that there are over 19,000 airports, heliports, seaplane bases and other landing facilities in the United States and its territories. The large airports with commercial flight service like LAX and JFK International account for only 378 of the airports in the U.S.

Ou...

Guest blog written for ATS by Robert Avsec

Online09

On-line training and education. Buzzwords in today's fire service training circles. Fire departments, large and small, are leaping into the on-line training and education "pool" as a solution for their every-changing training and education needs for their members.

Training and Educational Needs

Many fire departments across the U.S. and Canada str...

Guest Blog wirtten for ATS by Robert Avsec

PTSD2Allow me to begin by saying that this article is not focused on treating any individual who is having negative responses to post traumatic stress (PTS), especially those who are suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Those folks need the treatment and guidance of mental health professionals and others far more knowledgeable on the subject.

Many people have many opinions about why fire and EMS personnel are being exposed to more on-the-job stress (career or volunteer, you’re still on the job when providing service), but there seems to be...