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Quick Clip: How to deal with angry bystanders

Lt. Duckworth and Chief Wylie caution us not to buy into their emotion and abandon best fireground practices


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In this week’s quick clip, Chief Rob Wylie and Lt. Rom Duckworth talk about how to deal with an irate citizen on the fireground.

“We have to maintain the level of professionalism that everyone else is watching is going to expect,” Lt. Duckworth said. “Because the minute we falter, the story is going to be that the firefighter acted unprofessional.”

Chief Wylie gives tips on how to help diffuse the situation.

“The advice I would give anybody is to first understand where the anger is coming from,” Chief Wylie said. “You’ve probably been on seven or eight calls that day. But when you show up at their house, that may have been the first time they have had to call 9-1-1. It’s their first fire. Don’t act like it’s yours.”

Do you have any specific tactics you use to diffuse a situation like this? Sound off in the comment section below.

Stay tuned for the full Command Post podcast to premiere tomorrow.

The Command Post, a podcast series that features Lt. Rom Duckworth and Chief Rob Wylie, brings expert perspective to hot topics, frontline tactics and leadership lessons that firefighters and officers need to be safe and successful.