By Chief Robert Avsec
I served with the men and women of the Chesterfield County (VA) Fire and EMS Department for 26 years before I retired in December 2007 at the rank of Battalion Chief. During my career as an officer—starting with my first promotion to Company Officer in 1985—I took great pride in being responsible for leading, guiding, and directing people in pursuit of our mission--delivery of high quality emergency services--for a public sector Fire and EMS department serving a full-time population of 310,000 residents. During that 1st career, in addition to many assignments within the Emergency Operations Division, I served a cumulative 9+ years in staff assignments that included: Director of Training and Safety Division; Director of Emergency Communications Center; and Director of EMS Division.
I started writing and posting on my blog, Talking “Shop” 4 Fire and EMS, to put some meaning to the concept of sharing organizational knowledge, the unique organizational knowledge that every officer in the Fire and EMS world possesses.
My mission has been to use my blog, along with various social media platforms, e.g., Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn, as a “point of connection” for each of us to share our collective wisdom with each other and the future leaders of Fire and EMS.
There are many "silos" in the world of fire and EMS and ones that I’m quite passionate about “tearing down” are in the field of injury prevention for communities. Fire, police, EMS, hospitals, Safe Kids coalitions, etc., all usually have some sort of programs devoted to keeping children safe from preventable injuries. And they all have the same "target audience" (kids and their parents) and mission (keeping kids safe), but there's usually not much interconnection between agencies and resources.
I started working with Tracy Last, Founder and CEO, and her company, Prevention Connection International, in 2014. In Tracy I found a “kindred spirit” when it comes to helping the public safety agencies in communities "break down" those silos. Together, we’ve developed a Community Involvement Strategy that’s designed to help communities to develop their capabilities to reduce the number of preventable fires, along with fire-related deaths and injuries.
Battalion Chief (Ret.)
Communications Chief and Managing Partner at Prevention Connection International