Friday, August 21, 2015

Chaos and Exhaustion

Chaos and Exhaustion from The Smokey Generation on Vimeo.

"Fire leaders bring order to chaos, improve our people's lives, and strengthen our organizations. Leading enables us to leave a legacy for the leaders of the future so that they can take our places well prepared for the road ahead." (Leading in the Wildland Fire Service, p. 6)
Fire season around the globe doesn't seem to be going away. Resources are stretched beyond capacity. Wildland firefighters from around the world are traveling to areas and fuel types different from their own. behavior is extreme in areas in and around the wildland-urban interface. Chaos and exhaustion are present, and we must step back, Take 5 @ 2, and assess the situation, and bring everyone home safely.

Today we share, a personal story on chaos and exhaustion from U.S. Forest Service District Fire Management Officer Dan Garcia.

Wildland Fire—A High-Risk Operational Environment 

We are asked to make tough decisions under a compressed time frame, given limited information, in a complex and high-risk environment. This operational environment routinely brings together people, machinery, and the destructive energy of wildfire in the close, three-dimensional space of the fireground and its airspace. 

Wildland fire operations have inherent risks that cannot be eliminated, even in the best of circumstances. Incident management and response is a competition between human beings and the forces of nature; leaders struggle to manage the effects caused by wildfire and other natural and man-made events. The environment can rapidly and unexpectedly change from normal to emergency conditions to complete chaos.

What is your story? We challenge you to become a part of this amazing  project and share your leadership stories. Bethany Hannah began The Smokey Generation: A Wildland Fire Oral History and Digital Storytelling Project for her master's thesis. All members of the wildland fire service, not just hotshots, can share their stories by following her example. Click here for potential leadership questions. Visit The Smokey Generation website for complete information.

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