Monday, February 18, 2013
For any newer readers who may not know, I have a second job as the Fire Chief for the all-volunteer department where I live. My entire involvement is a lot of fun. Part of the equation is trying to help the department evolve on all levels, big and small. I work closely with the other (professional) departments on ways we can make progress on a whole range of things-- we are just about the only all volunteer department near here.
One tool common to other departments is some sort of command vehicle. For many departments the amounts to a Battalion Chief in an SUV overseeing the incident (Incident Commander) and typically the SUV has tools and other supplies that might come in handy if something can't be found on the engines or an extra in case something on the engine breaks.
After giving it some thought I think we are going to add a couple of enhancements to one of our older brush trucks (a Type 6 Engine) to make it a dual purpose Type 6 and Command Vehicle. We don't need to spend money modifying anything we will just need to add some equipment here and there so that it can still offer safety for me if I need to go size up a fire before anyone else can respond (it will still have 300 gallons of water and a pump) but also serve as an additional resource when we have a wild fire that is more than a tree struck by lightning.
For example one thing to add would be my EMT bag. When we have a structure fire it is standard procedure to have an ambulance dispatched to the scene and standing by just in case. For whatever reason this is not standard procedure on a wildland incident. It would also make sense to have extra water and Gatorade and flagging (like non-sticky tape to mark where to turn while driving to the incident) if I'm the first one there and the route in is not obvious. There are a few other things that we could add and make it a pretty useful resource in addition to still being a functioning Type 6.
So it is in our financial lives, the need to utilize available tools to map out a decent plan while still taking into account things that can reasonably go wrong (a sprained ankle at a wildfire is far from a black swan so having a SAM splint or two nearby makes sense). Financial tools can include an actual financial plan, investment products, various IRAs, the ability to do research on the internet and your own common sense.
Plus there's always pictures of neat looking fire trucks to be found....enjoy the day off.
Posted by Roger Nusbaum at 6:00 AM