Rule 10: A Passion for Health and Safety

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					                           RUBE’S RULES OF LEADERSHIP                                                                 >>>
By DENNIS L. RUBIN



Rule 10: A Passion for Health and Safety
We as Firefighters Can’t Help Anyone Else If We Need Help Ourselves

G
           reat leaders must ensure that all                     known as “Caught Under the Wheels.” In         a miracle that she did somehow survive
           firefighters go home at the end of                    the 1980s, a young, capable firefighter was    this traumatic ordeal.
           an alarm or shift. This rule is per-                  on duty assigned to a ladder truck in Prince         As her healing along with the physical
haps the most important one of the entire                        George’s County, MD. During the evening        and mental rehabilitation process started,
list of Rube’s Rules.                                            of the shift, a box-alarm assignment was       Sandy developed an amazing training
      To define “Everyone Goes Home” a                           dispatched for an apartment house on fire.     program that she entitled, “Caught Under
bit more, our members must return to                             Firefighter Sandy Lee quickly reported to      the Wheels.” In retelling her story scores
their families and homes just as they ar-                        her assigned position of                                      of times, Sandy would make
rived at the firehouse, before the response                      the right jump seat on         The entire                     firefighters think about fol-
to an event or the completion of a shift.                        Truck 22 and mounted                                          lowing their department
The fire-rescue department exists to help                        the apparatus in prepa-      company that                     rules (donning turnouts be-
others during their difficult time of need,                      ration to respond to this                                     fore the response) and to al-
the notion is that we must be able to help                       call for help. However,     you are working                   ways use their seatbelts before
folks when, where and how their situation                        Sandy skipped the step in                                     the vehicle starts into motion.
demands. We perform on the street as the                         donning her turnout gear     with goes out                    There are several very power-
situation generally dictates. There are only                     and failed to use the seat-                                   ful videotape presentations
a few times that we react to the conditions                      belt that was provided to   of service when                   in which Firefighter Lee ap-
that are presented to us by trying to change                     protect her.                                                  peared with the goal of mak-
them, such as holding a defensive position                            As the response          a member is                     ing sure that this information
until the police can control a hostile scene.                    started and the ladder                                        would not be lost on future
      If we are not physically and mentally                      truck began to move,            injured.                      generations of firefighters.
able to do so, we will fail at the mission that                  Sandy’s turnout boot fell                                          As this overwhelming
we are sworn to carry out of protect
				
DOCUMENT INFO
Description: One of the most heroic case studies that I can share is the tragic event best known as "Caught Under the Wheels." In the 1980s, a young, capable firefighter was on duty assigned to a ladder truck in Prince Georges County, MD. During the evening of the shift, a box-alarm assignment was dispatched for an apartment house on fire.
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