Where are the Lessons?

We are the Wildland Fire Lessons Learned Center. A big part of our job is to collect lessons and share them.

How do we do that?

Well, sometimes it’s complicated. But not always.

Here is the simple version of how it’s done. Lessons typically come to us through some sort of Incident Review. You know, FLA’s, RLS’s, LLR’s, those types of documents. We collect those documents and put them into our Incident Review Database.

So, one answer to “Where are the lessons?” is: “In the IRDB”.

Several years ago, we were presenting to a group of hotshots and we mentioned how often we get new reports and put them into the Incident Review Database. We told them that they should check this online database on our website to find the latest reports. Someone raised their hand and asked: “Can’t you just send out an email every time you put one in, maybe with a short description? Then we’ll know it’s there and we can decide if it pertains to us.”

And so . . .

LLC Emails

You might want to join the 7,000 people who now receive our “What’s New” emails. We typically send one out every week with links to a variety of learning-focused content. Mostly incident reviews.

If you want to receive lessons this way: Sign-Up Here.

LLC Blog

You obviously know about our blog because you’re reading this.

Our blog is an important resource for students of fire. One aspect of the blog we like to highlight is the “Independent Action” section. This is where we feature content submitted to us from across the spectrum of those people who operate in and around wildland fire. Our “Independent Action” blog posts have become an important venue for genuine field-led dialogue—and lesson sharing.

During 2020, the LLC posted 53 blog posts which inspired 168 comments collectively. If you haven’t yet jumped into this learning-focused dialogue, now’s the time.

You can subscribe to this blog as well. To do so, enter your email below, click the subscribe button and you will get a notification whenever there is a new post.

Here’s our three most viewed blog posts from 2020:

Is LCES Dead? —                                           8,424 Views

Rocking a Different Helmet —                   6,577 Views

Thinking Outside the Stratosphere —     5,784 Views

Do you have a story, some lessons, or an observation about wildland fire? Write it down and run it by us.

LLC Podcasts

We also put lessons in audio format. The LLC Podcast has become one of the most requested methods by which we share lessons. We are currently refining our process to get more consistent with this format (we are learning).

Individuals and crews have reported listening to our podcasts while mobilizing to fires. You should try that, then you have lessons in your head as you check in.

During 2020, LLC podcasts were downloaded a total of 18,000 times.

Here’s a recent comment we received regarding one of our podcasts:

“Still one of the most raw, truthful and impactful conversations I’ve ever heard. The humility and honest reflection makes it something you don’t find much when these accounts are shared. Great conversation with endless relevant nuggets that anyone can apply to when the plan goes sideways. Thank you all for sharing a story that so many others would have buried inside forever.”

Other Social Media Platforms

Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram—we also put the lessons into these platforms. In these formats we often condense lessons down for immediate application. Of course, the comments often involve additional lessons from the field—another dialogue opportunity. Find us (@wildfirelessons) and do your part to spread the knowledge.

2020 LLC Social Media Statistics:

Facebook: Our average post reached more than 2,000 users.

Twitter: We averaged 15,000 “impressions” each month. (An “impression” is the number of times a Tweet appears to users in either their timeline or in search results.)

Instagram: We reached more than 1,300 different users each month.

Now It’s Your Turn

Those are some of the ways we at the LLC share lessons.

To be successful in our quest to get the lessons out, we need your input.

What are we missing? What can we improve on? What works best for you?

Please let us know in the comment box below.

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