Service and a Commitment

October 13, 2012

"A Service and a Commitment". Battalion Chief John Alston, of the Jersey City Fire Department, gives the Keynote Address to the Fire Recruits graduating from the Union County Fire Academy. The ceremonies were held on the campus of Union County College; Cranford Campus.

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Keynote - Why Are You Here?

October 13, 2012

This is a clip (13 mins.) from the Union County Fire Academy 2011 Graduation Keynote Address, given by John Alston, Training Officer for the Jersey City Fire Department and instructor for the Union County Fire Academy. The graduation took place at Union County Community College, in Cranford, NJ. Grateful for the opportunity to address the recruits and their families, Alston, candidly, shares his experience and lessons learned, with over 26 years in the fire service. The message title, "Why Are You Here?"

Box vs. Out-of-the-Box Thinking

September 27, 2012

In Emergency Management, when you think outside of the box you are still utilizing box thinking to formulate your idea. You have to. Think of it as a Stringed Quartet vs. a Jazz Quartet. It's still music. One is very structured and the other more improvisational and yet they still utilize some of the same instruments, chords and notes to produce the final sound that they desire. It can even be the same song or piece of music. Very often the stringed quartet can make improvisations or perform different interpretations to the classical pieces. "Out-of-the-Box thinking" is no greater than "Box thinking", when it's done completely. It just means that we have different approaches to achieving a successful outcome.. I think they're both great and I that any individual can possess both characteristics of a "Box or Out-of-the-Box thinker. Which one are you and why do you think so? http://fireofficertrust.blogspot.com

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Thermostats or Thermometers

September 23, 2012
"Thermometers" and  "Thermostats"
Sometimes they find themselves, in one of two of these categories, through no fault of their own.  Through discussion at meetings and by gauging the types of questions that they ask; or positions they assert; I wonder how they arrived there.  Is it the "climate" where they work?  Maybe the orientation or initiation they received.  I surmise that  long before they rose through the ranks, their indoctrination, association and/or training dictated their category... and they can't shake it. Was it osmosis???  The old nature-nurture debate???  No one can give a definitive answer.

A more pertinent question: Is there a system or process in place to move Fire Officers into one of these two categories?  Is there a process to change them from one category to the other?

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The Six C’s

September 22, 2012

I have been fortunate to work with a number of Fire Officers, from every rank and in many different departments. It's been privilege and honor to train new officers, in a variety of ranks and disciplines.  I count it a privilege, because it gave us a chance to share, learn and gain insight into the many components of Command.  The prevailing question on their minds has always been; "How do you know, when you know? These Six "C's" of Fire Officer Trust (Commitment, Competence, Confidence, Communication, Courtesy, Courage), can follow in the order that I have given them; or may follow what best suits you and your situation; save the last...  COURAGE.

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Welcome

September 14, 2012

Just a quick welcome message.  Hope you stop by from time to time.

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