Episode 015 - Professional Development with Lt. Colonel Bill Smith

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The fire service is a para-military organization. But what does that mean? Are there things the military does that we should be doing? For this episode, we sit down with Lt. Colonel Bill Smith (United States Air Force) to talk about a couple of things that the military does much better than the fire service: professional development and recognizing our own people for their great work.

Our military does an excellent job of setting the path for anyone within their ranks that wants to promote; "here's where you want to be and here's what you've got to do to get there." It's a pretty simple idea, so why do so many fire departments struggle with it? What lessons for the fire service are there in how the military fosters growth with their personnel?

We also speak with Lt. Colonel Bill Smith about the hesitance of most firefighters to accept the recognition for "doing their job." The military does a pretty good job of it. They wear their medals on their Class A's to tell the story of their career; where they served, and what they've done. What lessons are there in that approach for all of us?

Also with us is Capt. Tom Burrell who has known Lt. Colonel Bill Smith for a very long time, and who was instrumental in getting us this opportunity to sit down.