Greetings from the British Fire Service College where I am attending and presenting at a research symposium. This is my first trip "across the pond" and it has been very enjoyable. The people are very nice. Many things are different from what I am used to, including the accents, public transportation, prices, cell phone service, time difference... just to name a few. The symposium has been very enlightening as the UK perspective on some things (like firefighter safety) are very different (and often much better). They struggle to understand why so many U.S. firefighters are being killed annually, especially for simple things like not wearing seatbelts. I've been asked that question at least five times. I honestly don't know how to answer it. What could possibly the be viable excuse for not wearing a seatbelt?
It will be interesting to learn the U.K. perspective on my presentation on fireground command decision making. I wonder if some of the problems we face here in the States are universal... or unique. I'm guessing I'll find out tomorrow.
Richard B. Gasaway, PhD, EFO, CFO