“May have been the losing side. Still not convinced it was the wrong one.”

"This report is maybe 12-years-old. Parliament buried it, and it stayed buried till River dug it up. This is what they feared she knew. And they were right to fear because there's a whole universe of folk who are gonna know it, too. They're gonna see it. Somebody has to speak for these people. You all got on this boat for different reasons, but you all come to the same place. So now I'm asking more of you than I have before. Maybe all. Sure as I know anything I know this, they will try again. Maybe on another world, maybe on this very ground swept clean. A year from now, 10, they'll swing back to the belief that they can make people . . . better. And I do not hold to that. So no more running. I aim to misbehave." ~ Captain Malcom Reynolds

Saturday, June 25, 2011


While I honestly try not to blow my own horn that much, I do consider myself rather skilled and knowledgeable in my job. Between years of experience, some bits of aptitude here & there, and I don't know what else, I happen to be good at what I do. Usually I really don't think about it in terms of my profession, as I tend to think most people are about the same level - unfortunately, that's not always the case. This week was a bit of a reminder into some of that...

Started out when I was invited out with some of our supervisors to observe a State Police exercise using some specialized explosive skills in a tactical arena. Before the trip I had been of the mental impression that their skill level was about the same as mine in this field - nothing I'd call "expert" but certainly competent enough to do the job. Instead, I found out that they were far behind not only in capability but in technical knowledge; the "why" you do certain things in certain ways, how the explosives are working. Basically the ability to not only use the tools, but to adapt them when needed & to know what the right tool is for the job. On the good side, they were receptive to some of my advice, and we've made some tentative plans to train together in the future where we can hopefully help each other with some of that.

Then today I got a nice call out to one of our Fire/Police shared facilities - seems like someone found an apparent device and obviously was a bit concerned. After some effort on our part and dealing with making the possible item safe we then found out that a third-party contractor had left it behind during a training exercise a month ago - no accountability, no effort made to clean up after themselves, didn't bother to tell anyone else etc.

So let's see - we tied up Police & Fire resources for several hours, all of which could have been used helping with other calls, or would have liked to have enjoyed their days off. We shut down a facility for the same period, preventing people from getting their work done. We put people at risk investigating this and having to treat it like a live device. All because you don't have the competence or professionalism to properly mark or take care of your toys.

The good note out of all of this is that my command staff is very happy with the unit right now and the things I've been able to do with it. Now my next goal is reminding everyone (to include myself) not to rest on our laurels, but instead to see what areas we can improve in so we don't become the ones folks talk about down the road.

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