I have a question for you today.
Why did you become a firefighter? I know, you probably haven’t had to think about it since you were interviewed before hiring.
But why did you choose this career?
If you’re like most people, you’ll probably mention something, at some point, about saving lives.
And that’s great. It’s noble. It’s important.
Now, a second question: when was the last time you trained on saving lives? (Not counting paramedic skills.)
Sure, you can pull a line or throw a ladder in your sleep. You can force a door. You can even find a rescue dummy in a maze training exercise.
But that isn’t really rescuing someone, is it? Finding them is hard enough, yes, but getting them out of a fire is a whole ‘nother thing.
My guest today says his department’s culture had emphasized putting out fires — and firefighter safety — so heavily that they had practically overlooked training to rescue victims of those fires. So he changed that philosophy.
Daniel Folks has been the chief of the Hammond, Louisiana fire department since June 2019.
He has 23 years of fire service experience, both as a volunteer and career firefighter. He is an instructor at the Louisiana Fire and Emergency Training Academy.
Daniel’s article: ‘It’s time to embrace a new culture – a culture of search and rescue’