Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Silencing People Who Disagree

Recently, a USFS research scientist and a group of researchers from UC Davis wrote and published a paper. They were spot on in their paper. However the USFS made every effort to silence the USFS researcher, even going to Court and loosing. They even barred him from publicly talking about the research. They tried to get the scientific magazine to remove his name from the article. The USFS lost on all these issues. I got a copy of the document and do not see anything that the USFS should be taking these types of actions. In fact, they need to heed the suggestions in the published paper to improve things.

It goes to show you how far the USFS will go to silence people they dislike from published research and books. I know, I caught their wrath after I published my book on Wildland Firefighter Deaths and Safety is not priority one with them, even though they say so.

What's the big secret they have hiding in the closet? What don't they want the public to know? Why do they silence their own employees that may disagree with them?

Recently a number of people took the USFS on about the air tanker and helicopter issues. They and others conclude that FS Chief Tidwell and Tom Harbour need to be booted out for numerous reasons from the Washington D.C. Office. I have written many times about the lack of leadership with these two and it continues still today. When is enough?

The article:

Agency incentives undermine policy effectiveness

Sunday, August 16, 2015

They Still Don't Get It.

I say things that make me a target, but that's okay because I'm right and their thought process is all screwed up. They think their correct and no one is going to tell them otherwise. So they continue to kill wildland firefighters every year.

Is your life worth sacrificing for them? Remember you can refuse an order. Since there is a complete shortage of crews, the ones on the line are pushed harder. 160 hand crews are needed and not available so far this year. It is only going to get worse. Watch everyone's back and you all come home safe.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Online vs Brick & Mortar Degrees

Although this is not a wildland fire issue I would type about, but I know many in wildland firefighting are getting degrees.

There are people that make many grandiose claims of teaching at a higher education level. However if they do not meet these minimum requirements they are performing a disservice to you. It doesn't matter how many years of job experience they have. Over the years I have found very few that have peer-reviewed published articles or even the minimum education requirements when they make these claims. In addition, most professors are humble and let their peer-reviewed writing's speak for them.

In almost every college a number of requirements must be checked in order to teach "graduate level courses." An Associate's or even a Bachelors is not enough. Having a certificate in some subject matter is not enough either. Most, if not all colleges and universities require a full blown Masters with a research thesis (minimum) and a PhD with an original dissertation (preferred) in order to teach graduate level courses. Any school or instructor that doesn't meet or require this I would be leary of the education I would receive. The advanced degrees are required to be in your major field of teaching and some have experience requirements as well. These experience requirements vary by subject matter.

Critical thinking is a very important component, because it shows you the instructor has research ability and getting them published in peer-reviewed journals. This doesn't mean publishing in a magazine or other publication that does not require peer-review before they will publish it. For example, Fire Management Today is not a peer-reviewed journal, but the International Journal of Wildland Fire is peer-reviewed.

Anyone that tells you online degrees are not worth the paper they give you doesn't have any idea what they are talking about. Many online degree programs (ASU, Capella, Harvard, MSU, Penn State, and Yale to name a few) are more stringent in their requirements. Oddly enough more and more brick & mortar colleges are offering full degrees online now because they are losing students that sit in a traditional classroom or lecture hall.

Most if not all online colleges are accredited as a brick & mortar school is. So the accreditation argument goes out the window. Companies and organizations are becoming to understand the online degree is as good as a brick & mortar.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Poked the Sleeping Lion

My book has poked the sleeping lion and an ex-USFS employee went ballistic. It did not surprise me at all. They hate that current and past employees speak up in an anonymous way for fear of losing their jobs or contracts. So my book obviously hit a major nerve that was very raw. I will not justify any further response to this or provide any justification.

I will not apologize to them for calling them out. They deserve being called out as wildland firefighter safety is not priority one. There is no vendetta, as some profess here, it is simply stating some very hard facts that shows they have not done enough. The real sad part is they do everything to deflect the attention away from themselves and blame others. They always say "you" are being a disservice to the wildland firefighter when in fact, they are the one being a disservice to their employees.

A lot of the problem is poor leadership. I have posted this before, but it never changes. With over 8,600 pageviews and 110 on 5/14/2015 from countries around the world, including Canada, Australia, Ukraine and Russia to name a few, the information provided is relevant. Be as safe as you can this fire season.