August 2019 Issue Number 229
Is a monthly electronic newsletter which links current events and issues to the daily challenges faced by fire and emergency services managers. Current topics in the areas of leadership development, workplace diversity, change management, and conflict resolution will be discussed.
I hope that you find the information here useful and provocative.
Let me know what you think! If you'd like to subscribe to the newsletter, please enter your email address in the box below.
enter your email address
Fire-Rescue International will take place August 5-10, 2019 in Atlanta, GA.
Now available! On
the Line: Women Firefighters Tell Their Stories by Linda
F. Willing. This book features interviews with over 35 women
firefighters from the United States and Canada. The book is available
from major online booksellers, and signed copies may be ordered through this website.
The Price of Trust
In April, a Denver fire officer was arrested after it was discovered that he had placed a motion activated camera in a female firefighter's changing room. The lieutenant, a 27 year veteran of the department, had retired days after the allegation was made. He was charged with tampering with physical evidence, a felony, and invasion of privacy for sexual gratification, a misdemeanor.
This is not the only recent case that involved a hidden camera intended to record women undressing. A similar case occurred in Austin, Texas and the military has also been dealing with the offense on Navy ships and submarines.
There is so much wrong with these incidents it is hard to know where to start. The fact that the fire officer tried to write the behavior off as a joke just makes it worse.
The violation is real for the women involved, and not just because they were being spied on. The fact that the officer was the one initiating the activity intensifies the violation. In fact, when the Denver woman first discovered the camera, she reported it to her officer, unable to imagine he was the one behind it.
Trust is critical in the fire service. Firefighters literally put their lives in the hands of their coworkers. Company officers make life and death decisions for their crews. The fact that someone could so callously violate that trust with a coworker does more than just destroy a personal relationship. That a senior officer would feel okay about doing such a thing, and even brag about it to others, brings into question the culture of an organization that could allow such behavior to occur.
Source: The Denver Post, April 7, 2019