I have been attending a conference in Maine; “Igniting Exchange: Bridging the Gap Between Science and Management”. One of the keynote speakers was a retired Navy SEAL, David Cooper, who spoke about behavior driven leadership. What I wondered, did Navy SEAL ethics have to do with wildfire safety efforts?
David spoke about his career and training to be a part of the SEAL Team 2 in 1988. They had to learn a complex set of behaviors and skills. They learned everything from driving race cars, martial arts of course (from one of Bruce Lee’s students), and even how to steal a car. What in the world does this have to do with wildfire preparedness? He shared, that in dynamically changing situations the SEALS had to learn to be adaptable, to draw parallels from what they learned to what they experienced to reduce their risk and eliminate threats. They had an obligation to pass on what they experienced and learned to SEAL newbies. Wow, that is exactly what I see members of Firewise USA™ sites do, mentor new communities just learning how to make their homes safer from wildfire. Although Firewise USA™ sites don’t have to know how to steal a car, they do have to know how homes burn in a dynamically changing environment and how to make oftentimes simple changes to keep their neighborhoods safer from this threat.