iWomen Leadership Conference - Taking Charge of Change





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FIRE RESEARCH AS A BASIS FOR CHANGE



Assistant Chief Laura Baker, Tucson
(AZ) Fire Department; and Research
Engineer Daniel Madrzykowski, UL
Firefighter Safety Research Institute

During the past decade, firefighting research studies have identified a range of tactical considerations for the fire service. These considerations include residential fuel loads, ventilation-limited fires, how to best control ventilation-limited fires, size-up, flow paths, door control, value of exterior attack, and transitional attack. Having the information is one thing. Taking the information and turning it into firefighting intelligence is another. The Tucson Fire Department studied the research results, rewrote its standard operating procedures, and then worked to implement them. This presentation will discuss the research-based tactical considerations, the path to implementation, and the impact of the changes on the fireground. Attendees will receive resources that can be used in their fire departments to effect change.

 

CANCER IN THE FIRE SERVICE



Firefighter Donna Luce-MacDonald, Providence
(RI) Fire Department; Firefighter Cancer Support
Network (FCSN)


The focus in on cancer and how it relates to the job and exposure to carcinogens. Research, including the FCSN’s White Paper, and actions that can be taken to protect against cancer will be addressed. Although a large number of women have been diagnosed with cancer across the country, there is no research on cancer and female firefighters, and they are not protected by presumptive laws in 24 states. The need for such research and the work the San Francisco Fire Department has been doing relative to breast cancer will be discussed. Attendees will be given handouts to take back to their departments as well as information on how to get in contact with an FCSN state director to arrange for awareness classes in their departments.

 

FAILING TO PLAN IS PLANNING TO FAIL



Division Chief Carol Brown, Boulder (CO) Fire
Department



A career in the fire service is a journey that is best achieved through thought, careful planning, desire, and hard work. “Failing to plan is planning to fail,” but knowing and understanding the required elements of the “plan” are often difficult to navigate in a career field with no standardization. This course will explore how to move from firefighter up through the ranks with formal education, experiential learning, and hands-on experience, answering the question, “How do I become a well-rounded, competent ___?” (fill in the blank to where YOU want to be). Here is a look at what will be required to achieve that dream job for the pinnacle of success and how to fulfill those requirements.

 

LAW AND POLICY: PREVENTING WORKPLACE DISCRIMINATION, HARASSMENT, AND BULLYING



Deputy Chief (Ret.) John K. Murphy, Attorney


This presentation will engage the attendees in a discussion of the issues that commonly lead to legal action and the impact of speaking up and protecting yourself and others. Among the areas addressed will be discrimination, harassment, hazing, training harassment and discrimination, discipline, lack of enforceable policies, and misuse of social media. The discussion will also look to an Adaptive Challenge and Cultural Change approach, not a technical solution. Learn actions to take at the individual and departmental levels to report, mitigate, and prevent a harassing and psychologically disabling environment.

 

ATTITUDES OF SERVANT LEADERSHIP






Chief of Training Douglas Cline, Horry County
(SC) Fire Recue

Leadership begins with serving. No role, position, job, task, or calling of leadership in emergency services can be effective unless the individual is willing to serve. Many want successful positions, ranks, and leadership roles, but not everyone wants to serve. Proper serving in leadership begins with a proper attitude. Fostering positive attitudes is critical and is the responsibility of officers, especially company officers. This dynamic program will explore the “8 Attitudes of Servant Leadership” as related to the fire service: to express encouragement; to have genuine empathy; to maintain unity of the organization; to understand purpose; to work well with others; and to be humble, not conceited, and not politically motivated. Servant leadership will help to further strengthen our foundation.

 

FIREGROUND LEADERSHIP: DEFINING THE NEW COMPANY AND COMMAND OFFICER




Chief of Training Christopher J. Naum, The
Command Institute


Today’s fireground presents new-found challenges
that have redefined strategic and tactical fire operations and
are testing past practices in structural firefighting and incident
management. This session will feature an open and frank
discussion on what will be the defining attributes and traits of
the emerging firefighter, fire officer, and commander who are
influenced by new strategic, tactical, and operational modeling.

 

WHEN I DOUBT MYSELF AND OTHER WOMEN: CHALLENGING INTERNALIZED SEXISM



Chief Jona Olsson, Latir (NM) Volunteer Fire Department; founder and director, Cultural Bridges to Justice

Any leadership position in the fire service demands selfconfidence, a trust of one’s own knowledge, judgment, and capabilities. Although most women leaders have successfully challenged sexist comments, behaviors, policies, and organizational structures to get to their positions, the impact of internalized sexism often still holds them back. The lifetime of sexist messages causes them to doubt their judgment, competence, and leadership capacity. This class will examine how self-doubt affects leadership, training, and support of other women firefighters. Strategies for identifying and confronting internalized sexism will be offered to help every woman at any level of the fire service perform at her very best.

 

WHERE HOPE LIVES




EMT/Firefighter Ali Warren, Rothrock (PA) Fire Department

The instructor, a thought leader and an inspirational speaker specializing in mental health struggles, shares her story of resilience. These struggles had their roots in the early days of her career as a volunteer firefighter at the age of 16. It began with the need to fight off sexual advances from some firefighters in her first firehouse and extended into years of dangerous sexual harassment and mental trauma that left her shattered and ultimately culminated in post-traumatic stress disorder. She will also provide some general mental health and suicide-prevention information.

 

TAKING COMMAND: THE FIRST FIVE MINUTES




Deputy Chief JoAnne Rice and Lieutenant Elizabeth Braun, Gainesville (FL) Fire Rescue

So you are new to the right front seat, and you arrive at the Big One. You get on the radio and uhhhhhh … it just doesn’t come out the way you want it. This class will help you to work through the kinks and calm your nerves so you can give a clear and concise arrival report. We will discuss size-up, arrival reports, and taking initial command. Attendees will have an opportunity to build their size-up and radio skills by practicing arrival reports.

 

STEPPING UP AND STANDING OUT



Superintendent Michelle Young, Queensland (Australia) Fire and Emergency Service/Vice President, Women and Fire Fighting Australasia (WAFA); and Regional Training Officer Bronnie Mackintosh, Newcastle (NSW) Fire and Rescue/President, WAFA

Based on Women and Fire Fighting Australasia’s “Road Map to Diversity,” we will explore the barriers to inclusion and facilitate a practical scenario-based workshop to identify solutions and outcomes transferable to all departments. Participants can expect takeaways to include a toolbox for moral courage and how to have courageous conversations, an “all hazards” approach to culture change, and intentional frameworks for interoperability.

 

PROBLEM SOLVING FOR PERSONNEL ISSUES



Battalion Chief (Ret.) Katherine T. Ridenhour, Aurora (CO) Fire Department; Volunteer Firefighter, Pagosa (CO) Fire Police Department

Dealing with personnel issues necessitates basic leadership skills that most firefighters/officers are uncomfortable with because they lack training, practice, and guidance. This class teaches a step-by-step problem-solving model that emphasizes having an organized plan when dealing with workplace issues. Coaching and counseling tips and ways to deal with potential disciplinary issues will be discussed. Participants will be assigned to groups of two to analyze and solve realistic employee problems using the guidelines given. They will learn to approach and resolve problems in a systematic manner and implement successful conflict-resolution strategies. The class will review each scenario using participant input to emphasize solid decision-making and problem-solving approaches.