"NTS"...(Non-Thinking-Syndrome) effects ALL
of us...just read some of the articles I have written... "uhh...ya mean
ya do a spell check and reread a document BEFORE you hit the SEND button"!?
Then there was the time I had a fire in a large mansion style home and
called for dozens of tankers...only to find a significant and easily accessed
source of water on the property....And
||Didja' Ever Suffer From
By Chief Billy Goldfeder
Seems that ever since Bruno started reminding
us that the impression we give
the public may just possibly have a contributing
factor in our ability to get
the public's support...many FD's seem
to go out of there way to "do the right
thing"...be it helping Mrs. Smith, Jones
or whoever. That's generally a good
thing. On the other hand...sometimes we
just don't think.
then, there was the time that I didn't
do a walk around and...... Yeah...we ALL suffer from NTS from time to time.
There are times when it's no big deal ....but
then there are times where our lackadaisical, poorly focused, careless
"don't worry...we are FIREFIGHTERS" irresponsible attitudes kick in and
then, there is a mess to deal with.
All of you can provide numerous examples
of some of the more serious NTS situations that have occurred...some are
even caught on video. Remember the FD years ago that had hundreds of citizens
(and kids) at their open house...and the FD lit a small shed on fire...and
the FF's responded to show the public the job they do...and the shed burned
more heavily...and the firefighters, on their knees...walked right into
the flames and the firefighters caught on fire?? Yeah... firefighters on
Just the thing for some 3 year old to
Now, this past weekend, a fire department
with a good reputation sadly ended up airlifting "one of our own" after
a bonfire was lit by the firefighters...and a few firefighters caught fire....with
Naturally, the effects it has on the public
is one thing...but burning some firefighters? I guarantee you that the
FD has safety policies, regular training, requires FF's to fully gear up
when responding and on a scene and other FD related policies. BUT I'll
bet that the NTS kicked in with a "non-emergency" scenario providing a
false sense of laid back calm. No sirens...no urgency...hell, the firefighters
are setting this fire..whats not to like?
And then boom...and more burned firefighters
in front of hundreds of citizens...and lil'kids. The publics impression
is severely altered...numerous lives are interrupted...firefighters are
in pain and
perhaps scarred for life...all for the
sake of a bonfire. Ever burn your finger? Try second degree burns on your
NTS strikes again. (This is the part where
you hear Homer Simpson smacking his own head and saying "Duuupe") So what
do ya do about NTS? I think that NTS is UNavoidable when strict policies
and procedures aren't followed (or don't exist)...NTS strikes when proper
supervision isn't applied...NTS strikes when strict and daily discipline
is lacking...NTS strikes when serious, applicable, disciplined and regular
required training is lacking...NTS strikes when we don't have
qualified people involved...NTS strikes
when command and control isn't applied and NTS strikes when only one "head"
does the thinking without fostering appropriate input. NTS is related to
Murphy........and his law.
In conclusion, a constant state of expecting
the unexpected (with the above ingredients) whether on an emergency scene
or a non-emergency duty is the only way to minimize the unexpected. NTS
may strike 1 out of 2 firefighters...or more....we've ALL gotten nailed
by it before. But with a
regular "dose" of:
NTS can be minimized! NTS is the enemy of
risk managers...and ALL firefighters and especially fire officers are supposed
to be "risk" managers. NTS can and has happened to each and every one of
us. Expecting the unexpected is extremely difficult and challenging....
Why? Cuz' ya don't expect it. "DUUUPE"
Written and Easy To Understand Policies.
Constant & Applicable Training.
Command and Control...at all times....emergency
or routine details.