Posted by hdf561 on June 21, 2012
I was given the opportunity to review the COBRABRAID 550 Paracord Bracelet “Firefighter” edition as well as the “Firefighter” edition key chain here are my thoughts on the products.
First the bracelet. It is made out of very durable paracord material. When I say durable I mean it. I got this bracelet dirty, wet, sweaty, soapy, hot, cold, you name it I put it through it and it stood up to all the tests I put it through. The design is nothing new as the thin redline in the black bracelet has been a symbol of fallen firefighter remembrance for as long as I can remember.
This version of the bracelet is secured with a velcro strap. The positives of this are the ability for you to add some extra tightness to your bracelet. However I found the material to become irritating while sweating, or if the bracelet became wet. COBRABRAID does offer a variety of other fastening devices for their bracelets so this is something customizable to the end-user. If you plan on wearing this during physical activity I would use some vaseline or runners glide to keep irritation down.
The key chain…
The key chain design is just like the bracelet, and the durability is the same as well. The only negative to this product is the carabiner size. It is very small and as I often clip my keys to my bag while I am at work the carabiner did not fit around the straps of my bag. I also often clip my keys to my belt loops while going into a store off duty, and some of my belt loops were to big for the carabiner. Other than that this is a solid product but could use some improvement with a larger carabiner option.
If this style is not to your liking then do not fret COBRABRAID offers a wide variety of bracelet, with multiple fastening and color options. They even have some special military, and police ones. They are also beginning to add medallions to the bracelets to add even more customization features. In these medallions you can add Maltese crosses, stars of life, your department patch etc.
For more information check them out on the web a WWW.COBRABRAID.COM oh and did I forget to mention this product is “Made In The USA” which is a huge point in any companies favor.
Ok so I know what you’re saying, you really like these products but you’re a little strapped for cash, well have no fear the great people over at COBRABRAID sent me a second bracelet and key chain combo to give away to my loyal readers.
These could be yours. All you have to do is email me at email@example.com or tweet @averagejakeff me with the hashtag #COBRABRAID by July 9th 2012. Make sure you include your mailing address and name so if you win I can get them out to you asap. All entries will be assigned a number and via the “random number generator” (drawing out of a hat) the winner will be selected, and the prize sent out to you.
So tell your friends, enter to win and go to WWW.COBRABRAID.COM and check out all they have to offer. A big shout out to COBRABRAID for allowing me the chance to review the products an reward my readers with great products.
As usual thanks for reading, spread the word, and STAY SAFE!
Posted in Reviews | Tagged: 550, ambulance, battalion, bracelet, dive rescue, ENgine, fallen, fallen firefighter, fire, firefighter, fireman, firemen, HAZmat, ladder, LODD, medic, NFA, NFFF, paracord, police, squad, tech rescue, thin red line, trench rescue, Truck | 2 Comments »
Posted by hdf561 on June 13, 2012
Within the next few months, my department is going to be undertaking a huge shift. Several of our senior command staff officers including our fire chief will be retiring. These are exciting and scary times for everyone involved. Exciting because the moves made in the next few months will/could determine the organization we are and the direction we go for the next 10 years! Scary because good, bad, or indifferent we know what we have with our current leadership complement and the thought of the unknown with new leadership in critical roles can be something that keeps people awake at night.
This has made me think a lot about if it was up to me, where would I send the organization, or more importantly how would I lead a organizaiton or even on a smaller scale a shift or company through times like this? What values would I want to instill in my company officers, firefighters, and the like?
A few years ago an officer who I have a lot of respect for, and now have the privilege of working for introduced me to a term, and leadership philosophy called “Servant Leadership”. Simply put the only reason an organization exists is to serve its customers. So in turn the only reason the leadership exists is to serve the subordinates.
An example would be the company officer. His sole job in its base form is to make sure that his/her firefighters have everything they need to serve the customer. These “needs” run the gauntlet from more training on hose deployment, to a hot meal at the end of the tour but the point is to make sure that the firefighters have everything they need in order to provide the best service delivery to the customer. Now much like your parents making you eat your vegetables sometimes the things your subordinates “need” are not going to coincide with everything they “want” or “like”.
This should go from the top down. The Fire Chief should make sure that his Assistants or Deputies have everything they need in order to do their job, and so on and so on. Applying this leadership model takes the leaders ego, and needs out of it and focuses on the needs of those you swore to protect and serve.
At the end of the day the fire service itself is a service industry. We exist to serve the citizen/customer who require our services. This is not down playing the extraordinary feats that happen every day in fire departments all over the world, however it is an attempt to really realize our true mission. Sure rescuing a fire victim is a feat of bravery, and should be regarded as such, but taking care of someone who broke their arm is just an important. The only difference is the level of service needed to mitigate the need of the customer, but the preparation for both must be spot on at all times.
These are values I feel that are desperately needed in a lot of organizations. The whats in it for me attitude and the attitude of self entitlement have no place in the fire service as this job is not about us, or you. Sure we deserve to make a living, and have a pension but that is the reward for providing a term of service that should meet the needs of those in which you swore to serve. Simply showing up and putting in time is not enough.
Please feel free to share some of your thoughts on leadership in the comments section, or on twitter @averagejakeff.
As usual thanks for reading, spread the word, and STAY SAFE!
Posted in Company Officer | Tagged: ambulance, battalion, command, command staff, dive rescue, EMS, ENgine, fire, fireground, firehouse, fireman, firemen, haz-mat, ICS, ladder, leader, leadership, leaving, medic, organization, rescue, retirement, squad, tech rescue, Truck, values | 1 Comment »