Wednesday, May 27, 2015

DUTY: Develop your subordinates for the future.

Duty Develop your subordinates for the future. - Clearly state expectations. - Delegate tasks that you are not required to do personally. - Consider individual skill levels and developmental needs when assigning tasks.

  • Clearly state expectations.
  • Delegate tasks that you are not required to do personally.
  • Consider individual skill levels and developmental needs when assigning tasks.
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Tuesday, May 26, 2015

From the Field for the Field - Rookie Challenge

Peng Boi receiving leadership poster
(Photo credit: Allen Briggs)
Occasionally, members of the NWCG Leadership Subcommittee hand out posters. Recently, Pam McDonald shared a couple posters with Allen Briggs, South Zone FMO of the Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest in Utah. Allen only needed one poster, but Pam challenged him to share the gift with someone else--to pay the gift forward.

During their zone readiness review, Allen issued an impromptu “Rookie” 10 & 18 challenge among all of the new seasonal module members. Peng Boi from Squad 81 (center of photo) won this challenge and will display the poster in the Spanish Fork Station ready room.

Peng is a true success story, facing many challenges and overcoming many obstacles to become an employee. Way to go, Peng!

Wildland Fire Leadership Challenge
We challenge you to share your leadership development activities with others. What are you doing to promote leadership at the local level? Send your story and pictures to BLM_FA_Leadership_Feedback@blm.gov.

Monday, May 25, 2015

IGNITE: In Memory

The legacy of heroes is the memory of a great name and the inheritance of a great example. –Benjamin Disraeli
The legacy of heroes is the memory of a great name and the inheritance of a great example. – Benjamin Disraeli
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Friday, May 22, 2015

INTEGRITY: Set the example.

Integrity Set the example. - Share the hazards and hardships with your subordinates. - Don’t show discouragement when facing setbacks. - Choose the difficult right over the easy wrong.

  • Share the hazards and hardships with your subordinates.
  • Don’t show discouragement when facing setbacks.
  • Choose the difficult right over the easy wrong.
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Thursday, May 21, 2015

South Canyon SMEs Honored with Lead by Example Awards

South Canyon Subject Matter Experts
(Left to right: Kip Gray, Dan Olsen, Alex Robertson, Kevin Donham, Brian Scholz, Eric Hipke, Shane Olpin)
The NWCG Leadership Subcommittee is honored to announce the final recipients for the 2014 Paul Gleason Lead by Example Award. Dan Olsen, Deputy Director, Fire and Aviation for the US Forest Service presented the awards during the 2015 South Canyon Staff Ride. Our congratulations on a job well-done goes to the South Canyon Subject Matter Experts:

Kevin Donham
Kip Gray
Eric Hipke
Alex Robertson
Bryan Scholz

We share with you Dan Mallia's, Redding IHC Superintendent and Paul Cerda's, Alpine IHC Superintendent, powerful nomination. The words of the field are by far better than what we could have written.

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Describe the significance of the accomplishment made by the individual or group in the stated category.


For 12 years, the Redding IHC Leadership Development Program has traveled to the location of the South Canyon fire to conduct the Staff Ride for their crew. Over the years the Redding Hotshots have invited other crews, other federal, state, local, international fire and aviation management employees and Washington Office leadership to walk the ground where the Storm King Mountain tragedy took place. In that time, close to 900 people have been lead through the events of the day in conference groups, to glean information and develop slides that they can reference and avoid an outcome similar to South Canyon.

Bryan Scholz, Alex Robertson and Kip Gray, former Prineville Hotshots and Eric Hipke, former North Cascades smokejumper provide a firsthand recount of the events that unfolded on July, 6th 1994. Kevin Donham, fire staff on the Ochoco N.F. at the time of the tragedy relates a valuable and important side of South Canyon story which highlights the importance of programs like You Will Not Stand Alone and Taking Care of Our Own.

The South Canyon Staff Ride provides a strong learning experience. The dimension added by Alex, Brian, Kip, Eric and Kevin relating their experiences on the day of the tragedy creates an experience that participants will keep with them. Their presence makes a memorable impact on the participants of the Staff Ride.

The lessons learned by these first-hand accounts are forever branded in the minds and hearts of each staff ride participant. These subject matter experts (SMEs), share their thoughts, emotions and explain in great detail the events from their individual perspectives. These discussions are very raw, the amount of emotion and the openness from each SME is a clear path to connect with every staff ride participant including but not limited students and cadre members. The impact of this staff ride is not limited to agency, GS scale or red card qualifications. The impact and first-hand accounts have helped shape and change the trajectory of the fire service culture as we know it today.

The South Canyon fire and staff ride is recognized internationally as well, Eric Hipke’s video which was released to the wildland fire community last spring, is one of the most insightful training videos ever produced. The explanation of his perspective, what folks were doing, insight to tactics and strategies can be shared with generations of wildland firefighters now and into the future.


The most appreciated accomplishment contributed by this outstanding group of wildland fire leaders, is their commitment to setting the example of what a “learning organization” should reflect, their dedication to sharing their story with others and most importantly the dedication in honoring their fallen comrades.

Describe how the accomplishment supports the principles and values of the wildland leadership program.

It is important to note that the values listed above were not formally adopted by the wildland fire culture prior to this event. This event marked the beginning of the Wildland Fire Leadership Values and Principles and Leadership Development Program.

The South Canyon Fire is an event that forever changed and shaped the wildland fire service that we have come to know. The SMEs openness and candor in talking about the events on the South Canyon Fire gives the participants a more thorough and in depth understanding of the events of that day. They never waver, falter or dodge questions asked of them, no matter how difficult.

Duty - By telling their story and sharing their lessons learned, the SMEs foster an open and solid learning environment for the staff ride participants. They bring the past with them and encourage learning from it.

All the SMEs have taken it upon themselves to develop current and future fire management leaders by sharing their story. These staff ride participants may not be supervised directly by the SMEs or have any line authority over the firefighters who participate in this staff ride; however, their dedication to hike that hill every year sometimes twice a year to share their firsthand knowledge in chronological order of the events as they remember them is moving and a reflection of these fire professionals developing the community’s young leaders.

Respect - They pay homage every year to their friends and fellow firefighters who died in the line of duty. Sharing their experiences and respectfully passing on the significant history of the event, making certain that we never forget the sacrifices made on the hill that day. Building the team, their team or sphere of influence are all the folks whom have participated in the South Canyon Staff Ride during the span of 12 years.

Integrity - There are two definitions of integrity: one is being honest and having strong morals; the other is being whole and undivided. The SMEs exhibit moral courage by returning to South Canyon every year, telling their story and relating the terrible details of July 6, 1994. They exhibit integrity because they understand that they are speaking for all of the firefighters from the South Canyon fire. These SMEs set the example in their interactions with participants as well as set the example for others who may have experienced similar events so that the wildland fire community can continue learning from unintended outcomes.

Describe the scope of the accomplishment, considering the available resources.

The scope of accomplishment or impact to the fire service (structure and wildland) can be measured with every “right” decision made on the fire ground by fire service leaders who have taken something away from the South Canyon Fire and its staff ride.

The South Canyon Fire is one of the most impacting fires to the wildland fire community as well as to the communities along the western slope of Colorado. The lessons learned from this event have led to a cultural change within the wildland fire organization. The discussions lead by the SMEs listed above has had both direct and indirect positive impacts to the public, firefighters (inexperienced and experienced).

These life-changing events which took place on Storm King Mountain in early July of 1994 are remembered not by statistics on a website or by a date on a calendar. They are remembered every day wildland firefighters train, engage, disengage or ask their supervisors questions regarding LCES and risk management. It is the ancient tradition of oral history, wildland firefighting history that is passed down from these individuals who lived to tell the story and a way for us to remember the 14 firefighters who are not here today to share their version.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

RESPECT: Build the team.

Respect Build the team. - Conduct frequent debriefings with the team to identify lessons learned. - Recognize accomplishments and reward them appropriately. - Apply disciplinary measures equally.

  • Conduct frequent debriefings with the team to identify lessons learned.
  • Recognize accomplishments and reward them appropriately.
  • Apply disciplinary measures equally.
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Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Twin Falls BLM Fire Crew Honored for Valor



Acting Assistant Director for National Conservation Lands Tim Murphy Valor (left) and BLM Deputy Director Linda Lance (right) with award recipients Camas Beames, Eric Killoy and Mackenzie Tiegs.
Acting Assistant Director for National Conservation Lands Tim Murphy Valor (left) and BLM Deputy Director Linda Lance (right) with award recipients Camas Beames, Eric Killoy and Mackenzie Tiegs.
Three Twin Falls District BLM firefighters traveled to Washington, D.C., last week to receive an award for valor and exceptional service to the nation as public servants at the 70th Department of the Interior Honor Awards Convocation. Engine Captain Eric Killoy of Heyburn, Engine Operator Camas Beames of Hazelton, firefighter and certified emergency medical technician Mackenzie Tiegs of Buhl, and firefighter and EMT trainee Dylan Forrester of Caldwell were recognized for their heroic actions last summer when they were the first to respond to a helicopter crash.
Click here to read the full story in the Times News on May 12, 2015.

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Reprinted from the BLM Daily, May 15, 2015.

Monday, May 18, 2015

DUTY: Ensure that tasks are understood, supervised, accomplished.

Duty Ensure that tasks are understood, supervised, accomplished. - Issue clear instructions. - Observe and assess actions in progress without micro-managing. - Use positive feedback to modify duties, tasks and assignments when appropriate.

  • Issue clear instructions.
  • Observe and assess actions in progress without micro-managing.
  • Use positive feedback to modify duties, tasks and assignments when appropriate.
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Friday, May 15, 2015

INTEGRITY: Seek responsibility and accept responsibility for your actions.

Integrity Seek responsibility and accept responsibility for your actions. - Accept full responsibility for and correct poor team performance. - Credit subordinates for good performance. - Keep your superiors informed of your actions.

  • Accept full responsibility for and correct poor team performance.
  • Credit subordinates for good performance.
  • Keep your superiors informed of your actions.
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Wednesday, May 13, 2015

RESPECT: Keep your subordinates informed.

Respect Keep your subordinates informed. - Provide accurate and timely briefings. - Give the reason (intent) for assignments and tasks. - Make yourself available to answer questions at appropriate times.

  • Provide accurate and timely briefings.
  • Give the reason (intent) for assignments and tasks.
  • Make yourself available to answer questions at appropriate times.
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