While we are careful on releasing names. The firefighter's name did get out and that is why I write the article this week -- A View Looking Up. The firefighter was me, and while I had hoped to escape this incident with no public knowledge I also understand that I live in a small tight-knit community.

Emergency Services and their tactics can be compared with Military Tactics. Besides the obvious with chain of command and structure, High Ground could be one we have in common.

Military positions from the high ground always offer an advantage to defending your position. While more of a metaphor, the ability to see as much as possible always helps in any emergency operation, thus the “high ground” advantage.

How does one judge or test the services they offer their clients to make sure the quality is up to standards? In the Fire Service this can be hard to judge. We tend to see people on their worst days, and hope that what we did was able to make this somewhat better.

Many of the people we see day-in and day-out we never see again. We don’t have the ability to see how are services were. Did we make a positive difference? What could we have done to improve?

One way for us to judge what we are doing is to become a user of the system and the services we provide. Last week, the Fire District ran a structure fire at a complex being rented as apartments. The fire in the older structure travelled quicker than our manpower was able to establish water and the building was a total loss.

It was an unusually hot day for mid-September and the fire, smoke and heat were tough on everyone working this incident. We established rehab with Osage Beach Ambulance and were trying to make sure the firefighters were rotated out in order to make sure no one suffered from a heat related incident. As many of you saw in the news we were not completely successful.

One individual made a trip up to rehab feeling light headed and sweating profusely, and while at rehab the firefighter fainted. Crews quickly responded by getting the firefighter on the ground, removing his gear, taking his vitals, establishing an IV to begin replacing the fluids lost, loading in a waiting ambulance, transporting to the hospital, where further treatment was conducted and he was released several hours later.

The crews remaining on the scene quickly re-assigned his role to another firefighter and continued to battle the fire until it was out.

While we are careful on releasing names. The firefighter's name did get out and that is why I write the article this week -- A View Looking Up. The firefighter was me, and while I had hoped to escape this incident with no public knowledge I also understand that I live in a small tight-knit community.

A View Looking Up came to me as I lay on the ground looking up at the firefighters and medics working on me; it came from riding in the back of the ambulance looking at the ceiling while the medic gave a patient report to the hospital; it came from laying in the hospital looking at the doctors and nurses coming in and out of the room.

I realized that in this position I did not have the high ground, I had no tactical advantage and I was truly in the hands of the system that I work under. A View Looking Up gave me a better perspective on not only this department but the many others that we work with at the Lake.

I want to say thank you to each of them, to the outpouring of concern and well wishes from friends and family in the area and across the state. I had a chance to view the system from a different perspective and I am happy to say I was a satisfied customer.