Steve Whitehead over at The EMT Spot wrote an article about performing actions and performing the right actions in an emergency and how the right action is the one that is thoughtfully considered.

Coincidentally at the time this was posted I was thinking about taking the right action and what exactly the right action was. The problem I ran in to was figuing how out what that action is.

In a fire company, like the military, we have officers appointed to run the company that are supposed to be able to select and implement the right action. They use various tools at their disposal like scene size up, training and education, and experience sorted into what Chief Brunacini called “the notecard” of similar incidents that produced a desired result.

The issue comes at being able to trust that your officer will make the right choice and choose the right action to stabilize the situation. The problem is when you get complacent.

How can you choose the right action if you don;t know anything else? Steve addresses this when he discusses experience, and that it takes longer for the inexperienced to arrive at the correct solution. But officers are supposed to be experienced right? So they should have the appropriate knowledge to choose correctly.

And what about the members of the company? There are varying levels of experience in the other seats. Fortunately, most of the guys on my company have 10+ years of experience as firefighters and all in Memphis. I have 10 years of experience, but only 5 in Memphis. Can we trust each other to select the right action when it counts?

Officers should be constantly involving their company and themselves in training, so when it comes to the right action to be chosen, the execution will be quick and seamless.

In short, my theory on action vs the right action is all about training and education.


Category: Commentary, Fire

About the Author

Russell Stine is a firefighter/paramedic in a large urban system. He has been employed for 6 years as a street level provider and has delivered care as an EMT and a paramedic across the urban, suburban, and rural settings. He has been in emergency services for 15 years.


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