With the advent of Harvey here in Houston, David and I thought it would be good if we took Community Emergency Response Training through FEMA. It’s offered free every couple of months. You can see more about what the training is specifically here.
I’ll be honest, I thought it was just some sort of class where you show up, read from a manual, listen to a few speakers and learn a bit more about safety in natural disasters but it is so much more. Each session is 3 hours long and there are 8 sessions.
This was our second session. I’ll admit – I was nervous about it. I knew we would, in theory, be putting out a controlled fire but I have never used an extinguisher before. I knew the theories but had never held one. As a young child, I was terrified of fire consuming our house at night and slept with my door closed specifically because I wanted to be sure I had time to get out in the case of a fire. As an adult, you could say I have my head stuck in the sand or my hands over my ears and my eyes closed shaking my head saying “nope. nope. nope. not going to happen here.” But we all know it’s possible. In truth, I knew enough that I believed that as long as I knew the theories of how to put out a fire, I’d be able to do it if I had to. That is perhaps true. However, in CERT training, they leave nothing to chance. Practice makes perfect and this is a great way to start.
The training is at a local fire station so I get the sense that we get a unique view of firehouse strategies as well as the training provided by FEMA.
We donned our gear – a hard hat, safety goggles, and gloves. We all took a deep breathe and me the Chief out at the pit. Immediately, I’m looking at the fire extinguishers and coming up with hundreds of reasons why I can’t try using that extinguisher.
The gloves are too big…the extinguisher is too heavy….my hearing aids might melt…I don’t need to do this. I’ve seen the videos, aim at the base and sweep. DUH
Looking around, it was clear that very few of us wanted to actually do it but I noticed something as each person mustered up the courage, picked up that extinguisher and attempted to put out that fire. The ones who walked up timid and unsure of themselves just could not manage to put out the fire. Each of them had to muster up their own courage to do MORE than picking up that fire extinguisher and aiming. They had to be determined. The ones who walked up to that fire and said “I’ve got this. You, fire, are going nowhere.” They were the ones who were assertive and successful.
I resolved to take the bull by the horns and tell the fire who was the boss. After all, at this point, I have 4 firefighters and they are in control of the heat. I grabbed that extinguisher, pulled the pin, squeezed once to test and off I went. SWEEP SWEEP SWEEP SWEEP. DONE. That fire went down. I put it out! After that, I felt like I could do anything.
It was really cool to see that once we did it, we each felt an incredible sense of accomplishment and a comradery unlike anything else. Each of us knows now that if we encountered a small fire, we would know what to do and, without a doubt, would know the right process to take to put it out.
The training further teaches that when we are responding to an emergency, we won’t always have the fire department nearby and so we must work as a team (both with fire extinguishers but only one active at a time). They both yell FIRE so others know around them and then one person leads, starting with yelling “Going in!”, the other has their hand on the shoulder and follows, responding in like “Going in!” ensuring that they have heard and are responding. While person 1 is focused on the fire, person 2 is focused on the surroundings (what is the floor like, is there any threat that might hinder person 1, no tripping hazards, etc), as the person 1 sprays the fire with the extinguisher, the 2nd person is still ensuring the surroundings are safe.
One would think that everything stops once the fire is out (after all – that’s the goal). However, the teamwork doesn’t stop there. When exiting, the 2nd person takes the lead, turning around and leads the 1st person (who remains facing the fire in case it re-ignites and they have to return).
“Going out!” person 2 says followed by “going out!” by person 1. Person 2 has their hand on the shoulder leading person 1 who is walking backward, watching the surroundings and ensuring person 1 doesn’t fall.
A quick high-level video can be seen here of what that looks like without the yelling and alerting.
As you can imagine, in an emergency situation, taking appropriate action and working as a team with everyone on the team is incredibly important. It’s not up for debate. It’s not even an option to not put your best foot forward. Lives matter in that instance.
This entire experience impressed upon me the reality that we must find a way to do the same in our day to day jobs.
It’s NOT about making it to the end of your shift or the end of your project. It’s not about just getting through the day. It’s also not about giving your least so you can give your best to your side business or your family or your hobby.
Your job that you are doing today has importance and you must do it with the same gusto as you would if lives were depending on it. Ironically, lives ARE depending on it. That co-worker who has an ill family member really needs their job. That sales associate who is dealing with the customers – she has huge medical bills. That customer you are serving – they need you to give it their all so they leave the interaction with you knowing they made the right decision.
As you can imagine, if lives are depending on your work then your department…no…your whole company must work as a team. Teamwork with the same goals (put out x fire) and coming out on the other side in one piece while saving lives in the process. There’s no better feeling.
Treat this week as though putting out this fire with your team will saves lives….after all, it may just be yours that is saved.
Special guest Chrissy Bernal, author, creative Communications & Marketing, Homeschool Mom of unique twins, Special Needs Parent, Marine mom, Speaker, Empowerment Enthusiast Consultant Recorded live on Saturday June 10
It’s about transitioning your thinking It’s about finding what makes you unique and using that as a platform. Learn to see where God is shaping your journey organically. What happens when you pay attention to your experiences?
About Chrissy Chrissy is an Author, Writer, former Homeschool Mom of unique twins, Special Needs Parent, Marine mom, Speaker, Empowerment Enthusiast, and Creative Communications & Marketing Consultant. Her children’s book “Sienna’s Locket” is available on Amazon or Barnes & Noble. She appeared on shows such as 20/20, Inside Edition, and Anderson Cooper and graduated with a BA in Mass Communications/Journalism from the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor. Chrissy believes that each of us has something unique and we should focus positively on that. Chrissy’s vision is too inspire and educate people to see their uniqueness, with this do great things and see their greatness as well as use their challenges to inspire change For more on Chrissy www.chrissybernal.com
I recently had the honor of interviewing a woman I’ve been itching to talk to for quite a while.
While both interviews were of the same great author and speaker, each took a different turn. Both shared valuable information about how to rise above unwanted change and devastation that seemed to come over and over.
Debby is a woman on a mission. In her book, “The Woman Behind the Smile” she shares her personal experience with a love that turned into betrayal and financial disaster and she removes the mask of shame and shows others how to do the same.
These are shows you really want to listen to – whether you are single or married, male or female, there’s something for everyone in these shows!
You can listen to the Vikings of Faith show here:
You can listen to the Change Hackers show here:
Learn more about Debby and get her book here:
Thank you Debby for two amazing interviews!
Today I embraced a new title and experience – that of Radio Host.
Both were online. Both were dependent on technology working as we needed it to. As expected, we had some technical difficulties but we made it thru! It was a GREAT experience as my first radio show..
At one point, during the first show, Change Hackers, I began to wonder how we recover from the experience. My internet had lost the connection and then my phone connection was just not great. I seriously considered postponing the show but I knew two things:
1. There would be new problems next time.
2. The message I was there to share needed to be told. There were people out there who needed to hear it.
And so…we continued on. My guest, Jeff Wolfe, was a FANTASTIC guest, rolling with the challenges as they came and smiling the whole way through. If he was frustrated, he didn’t say a thing and he continued. Jeff took time out of his day at his company picnic to spend time sharing with us all about Project Uncharted – how it came to be, what it was and what it would become.
The second show, Vikings of Faith had different technical issues but we muddled our way through. Each show has a unique aspect to it. While Change Hackers focused on how we deal with change, Vikings of Faith focused on how we enable the warrior within us.
I said in both of my shows that I would update my website with how to contact Jeff.
You can contact him either at mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org by phone at 770-378-1510.
His website are: www.ProjectUncharted.com and www.flexmktg.com
Follow project uncharted on Instagram, twitter and facebook as well to get updates as they become available.
Jeff and I spoke during the second show about ways to pray for Jeff and Project Uncharted. You can see them below:
Pray for the Logistics
Stories to be selected
Stories to be told as God wants them to be shared
Stories will need video production in addition to other parts of the package
The right sponsors to sponsor the story development
Pray for Jeff
That he will respond correctly to God’s desire in the sharing of these stories
That he will always remember that the stories are not about him but about those sharing their stories and how God worked in their lives
Listen to Coach on Fire’s Change Hackers- Mastering Change in all areas of life! – Premier at http://tobtr.com/s/10019265. #BlogTalkRadio #ChangeHacker #CoachOnFire
Listen to 108 Praise Radio Vikings of Faith – Tapping into the Warrior in you – Premier at http://www.facebook.com/108praiseradio/videos/1638317399530867/ (show starts 15 minutes in) #VikingsOfFaith #108PraiseRadio
While these weren’t the best shows ever due to technical issues, it is my hope that you will enjoy the content that Jeff shared. There will be two new shows coming in 2 weeks (guest still to be determined).
Join the following groups to stay up to date on the shows:
In the end, I suppose the best way to summarize this day is:
Please be patient with me. God is not done with me yet. 🙂
If you are within driving distance of Houston, I would love it if you would consider joining us at this FREE conference at Spring Baptist Church – Klein campus. in Spring, TX.
This conference is for the single adult – no matter the age and the married couple – new or experienced.
The conference is a compilation of some of the best talks I’ve ever heard.
1. Have you ever wondered why some marriages make it and others don’t?
2. Have you ever wondered just what IS the definition of love?
3. Have you ever wondered why you struggle showing love to others like you want to?
4. Or perhaps you just want to know the key to how to pray for your marriage.
There are so many other topics we will discuss at the conference so I hope you will join us there!
Check out the video below for more information: https://youtu.be/Mq8UogsOD4o
p.s. We are hoping to share this seminar at other churches in the area. IF you are in the area and would like to arrange to have this conference at your church, contact us via email at email@example.com
These past few weeks, I’ve been working on a little journal for married women.
The journal is presenting some technical issues prior to release but I’m so excited about it that I’m determined to work through those technical issues to get this journal released asap.
Why? What is in this little journal that makes me so excited?
Nearly every week, I meet a woman who wishes she had married a Viking instead of the prince charming she thought she married. I try to sit with each one of these women I meet and go through a process I’ve developed to help them find their love again but, so often, I just don’t get the option to walk them through this process completely. In addition, I’ve learned that, while the process helps, they need to put the concepts into action in order for them to get the full effect. Renewing Your Viking is a small journal which allows them to do just that…I’m so excited!