Billy Schmidt's Blog (12)

We Want To Be Everywhere

Yes, as chief officers we want to be everywhere. We manage multiple fire stations and lead teams of firefighters and officers. We want to visit every station and listen to all of their stories, suggestions, and yes, criticisms. We want be at the fires, the bad motor vehicle accidents, and maybe even some of the medical calls. We want to get things done for them that will help them do their jobs. We want to help them grow. But we can’t be everywhere. Or can we?…

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Added by Billy Schmidt on August 17, 2014 at 8:02am — No Comments

What's Working? What's Not?

Start, Stop, Continue is a well-known method for feedback that many organizations and teams use to gauge effectiveness. You simply ask:

  • What can we start doing that will make us more effective?
  • What can we stop doing that makes us less effective?
  • What can we continue to do that’s providing value to…
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Added by Billy Schmidt on April 24, 2014 at 6:46am — No Comments

Your Fire Department is Your People

… Not your fire trucks, fire houses, not your service. It’s your people. Often we forget this.

Photo by Artie…

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Added by Billy Schmidt on April 8, 2014 at 8:33am — No Comments

Can Your Administration Team Hit The Target?

By Billy Schmidt

Are you building your fire department administration strategically? How do you find and position the cornerstone members who will ignite interest, introduce new ideas and development, and achieve a dynamically talented team? Can they hit the target?



Your fire department’s administrative team is just as important, if not more, as…

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Added by Billy Schmidt on March 9, 2014 at 8:20am — No Comments

Our Fire Department Challenge

From my blog at FireGroundWorks.

We often talk of the challenges we face in the field; the ambiguous, complex, and confusing incidents that attack our senses and tax our ability to beat them. Instead of all the talk about “what” we face, why not focus on “how” we can successfully win against it.…

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Added by Billy Schmidt on May 8, 2013 at 7:41am — No Comments

What One Important Thing?

If you could go back 5, 10, or 20 years in your fire service career, what's the one important thing you would tell yourself?

I believe the one thing that really counts is, "knowing that everyone is watching." Throughout our careers, beginning on day one, everyone is watching what we…

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Added by Billy Schmidt on March 1, 2013 at 8:23am — 2 Comments

Dr. Kimberly Alyn Made The Fire Service Better

Sometimes the most important lessons we learn come to us from unique people who are not firefighters. The fire service is continuously searching for new knowledge, and we discover it from a variety of people coming from diverse backgrounds.

I just learned today that Dr. Kimberly Alyn recently passed away unexpectedly. Dr. Ayln played an intricate role in the education of the fire service. She didn’t teach tactics or fire behavior. She coached us on firefighter behavior. She talked…

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Added by Billy Schmidt on February 14, 2013 at 1:20pm — No Comments

Are We Training Enough on Command and Control?

From my blog at FireGroundWorks.

In a National Fire Academy Alumni blog, John Bierling asks, “Is command failure an acceptable incident outcome?” He continues with this:

Nearly every NIOSH Firefighter LOOD…

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Added by Billy Schmidt on September 15, 2012 at 7:05am — No Comments

Thinking Like Leonardo

From by blog at FireGroundWorks.

While recently attending the Fire Rescue International Conference in Denver, I took some time one evening and toured the Da Vinci Machines Exhibition at the Denver Pavilions. On loan from the Museum of Leonardo da Vinci in Florence, Italy the exhibit featured more than 60…

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Added by Billy Schmidt on August 24, 2012 at 7:07am — No Comments

Controlling Email Chaos!

From by blog at FireGroundWorks.



How do you do it? How do you get through the chaos of daily social media? With the influence of email, texting, Twitter, and Facebook we are now caught in…

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Added by Billy Schmidt on August 13, 2012 at 7:00am — 1 Comment

Leadership Doesn’t Come From Behind the Desk

From my blog at FireGroundWorks.

Recently, I listened, with great concern, to two different questions about the same subject, a failure to communicate. On one occasion, I was part of a management meeting where the attendees were asking, “Why don’t they understand what we are doing?” Another time, while talking to people I supervise, they asked, “What is going on?” This roadblock, or maybe wall, in communication is a…

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Added by Billy Schmidt on April 20, 2012 at 7:00pm — No Comments

My Big Question: Do We Focus Too Much on the Nuts and Bolts?

From my blog at FireGroundWorks.

My big question is, “Do we focus too much on the nuts and bolts of tactics and not develop enough critical thinking and problem-solving skills through reading, writing, speaking and other hallmarks of educational courses?”

Organizations know they need flexible thinkers with innovative ideas and a broad knowledge base derived from exposure to multiple disciplines (training, education,…

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Added by Billy Schmidt on April 14, 2012 at 2:00pm — No Comments

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