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Chief Alan Brunacini: Timeless Tactical Truths

Chief Alan Brunacini: Timeless Tactical Truths

Early in my career as a firefighter, I developed the habit of writing notes on 3x5 cards.  I would (and still do) jot down a few words about something I observed, comments I would hear and thoughts that would occur to me (sometimes at the strangest times).  Little "flashes" that would occur in conversations with the firefighter I worked w...

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The Attributes of Leading

Chief Alan V. Brunacini Chief Alan V. Brunacini

I recently attended a train-the-trainer class for a new Everyone Goes Home® program course titled Attributes of Leading’ created by Dr. Brian Crandell of the Crandell Research Group, Battalion Chief Kevin Conant (Retired) of Command Coaching, and videographer/editor Captain Jake Pelk, of FD Training Solutions. This course was an integral part of the 2018 National Everyone Goes Home® Advocate / Phoenix Society for Burn Survivors workshop. 

Weaving together a tapestry of different perspectives, the content of this course showcases fire department members across the country sharing in a discussion of the key attributes of leading, from the foggy San Francisco Bay to the frozen lakes of Minnesota. Volunteer, career, and combination departments participated in this training course from the Boone County Fire District in Columbia, Missouri, to the Loveland-Symmes Fire Department in Loveland, Ohio. Attributes of Leading focuses on several key attributes of leading including, Developing Competence, Building Grit, Being Well, Exercising Self-Regulation, Demonstrating Humility, and Developing Trust. Notice they are all verbs, action words because leading is an action, not a subject.

From the opening introductions in the ‘Being Well’ segment, I was reminded of the impact and legacy of Chief Alan V. Brunacini as his voice echoes over the audio speakers from the projector.

“We laugh about it, but we say somedays you are a peacock and somedays you are a feather duster.  And when you are a peacock, man you are riding high, and when you are a feather duster, you are laying low. And when you are laying low, you will figure out who your friends are.” - Chief Alan V. Brunacini

I was instantly drawn in by a poignant video of the late Chief Alan V. Brunacini discussing the importance of being well.  For those in the fire service, the term “Mrs. Smith” is synonymous with “customer” and Chief Bruno reminded us that we need to take care of Mrs. Smith. First, Fire Captain Smith has to take care of their firefighters in order for them to be able to take care of Mrs. Smith. Being Well is an appropriate introduction to this course on the attributes of leading. There is a sense of responsibility for those who lead, to assess their personnel, and to ensure that they are both physically and emotionally well; it’s a holistic responsibility.  How can department members, in turn, take care of someone else if their own well is empty and they are truly drained? 

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