As I noted yesterday, the fire service blog community has been good to us. Rhett Fleitz and Chris Kaiser yesterday and now the Firegeezer have all helped us out. In addition to some excellent advice, Firegeezer gave us a great plug this morning.
These three blogs join with a number of others in the forum of online fire service dialogue. Fire Engineering, Fire Rescue, and Firehouse have been around for a long time. They’re great for what they are but the world is passing by the monthly publication. We live in a fast conversation. Twitter is, so far, the pinnacle of immediate dialogue; with proper hashtagging and a discrete community it can be very local as well. Because the legacy trade journals have a turnaround time in excess of a month, and more often three to six months, they simply cannot react conversationally to so many of our issues. If Issue X springs up this month and I rely solely on the trades, I will probably not hear about it for up to a year. With blogs and social media, not only will I hear about it much quicker, but I can engage in a larger conversation.
The fire service needs a dialectic medium. Drastic changes (read: new problems) in building construction, fire behavior, and apparatus operations are evolving every month. Non-traditional fire service functions related to homeland security, hazmat, and social violence are evolving even faster. To stay on top of things and develop best practices we have to bounce ideas off one another and debate. Blogs, and the internet in general, provide the platform on which that dialectic is conducted.