Articles by Sam DiGiovanna
Thursday, May 18, 2017
Being a chief officer is a rewarding position. But the saying "to whom much is given, much is expected" holds true as a fire chief. The job can take its toll on you and be extremely challenging, leading to stress and burnout. May is Mental Health Awareness Month, and it's important to set some boundaries and keep yourself in check to avoid mental burnout and stress.
Thursday, May 04, 2017
We all complain. Just like poor eating habits or lack of exercise, it's an easy trap to fall into — and even harder to get out of. Complaining provides some short-term pleasure, but just like eating unhealthy foods, it has negative effects over the long term.
Wednesday, April 12, 2017
Do you find yourself checking your cellphone often? When your city manager says, "I need to see you," do you feel like you're going to the principal's office? When you're at dinner or a concert, are you truly present or are you thinking about work? Have you snapped at your significant other or kids for insignificant reasons? Finding your patience is running thin?
Thursday, March 30, 2017
Spring training is wrapping up for Major League Baseball, and the regular season starts April 2. Over the past month, players from every team have been holed up at training camps, studiously perfecting their skills. This annual tradition builds team camaraderie and gets players "game ready."
Thursday, March 16, 2017
It's been just over five years now since my good friend Captain Andy Troncale of the Arcadia (Calif.) Fire Department passed away. Andy and I grew up together and played Little League in West Covina, Calif. We joined the Los Angeles County Fire Department as Explorers at age 15. We would ditch school and ride along at every fire station we could.
Thursday, March 09, 2017
In my last article, I detailed some of the characteristics that mark the millennial generation. Many of these characteristics — such as difficulty accepting orders or the desire to communicate electronically vs. face-to-face contact — don’t translate well to the fire station environment. But new recruits are the lifeblood of the organization; we can’t just avoid hiring young people. So, what to do about this generational issue?
Thursday, March 02, 2017
I've seen a lot of new recruits come through the training center over the past several years. Although I always get excited about welcoming new recruits, the new generation seems to present some unique challenges and training needs. Nothing against them; it's more of a sign of the times. Do you recognize any of these characteristics?
Thursday, February 16, 2017
As chief officers, when was the last time you went to the engine or the truck and looked at the equipment and power tools on them — the Jaws of Life, the hydraulic spreaders, the generators, the chainsaws?
Thursday, February 02, 2017
You're a chief officer now, congratulations! You're at the top of your organization's ladder, so it's easy street now, right? Wrong! Chances are you got the position because you worked harder than others, advanced your career with schooling and specialized fire-related training while off-duty. You took on and worked extra projects and assignments away from your family and personal life. In your early stages as a firefighter, you were proudly known as the one who was "first in and last out" during fires and incidents.
Thursday, January 19, 2017
During the winter season, we remind communities to change their smoke detector batteries, advise them how to be safe while cooking during the holidays and, for those of us in wildfire-prone communities, encourage them to follow the "Ready, Set, Go" model to properly prepare.