Frequently Asked Questions
What exactly do you do here?
Do you have a large or unusual event or incident you need help planning, running, and/or coordinating?
Want to plan and prepare for, and mitigate possible natural or man-made hazards including floods, earthquakes, hazmat releases, etc?
Are you interested in Community Wildfire Protection?
Would you like to use Prescribed Fire to enhance ecosystems, wildlife habitat, and mitigate the effects of wildfire?
If you answered yes to any of those, Grounded Truths is here for you.
What about virtual services?
Depending what you want me to do, that answer can vary from "absolutely!" to "absolutely NOT".
Examples of "absolutely" services: planning, organizing, facilitating (I have a Zoom account connected to my site here and can use that for virtual meetings), yes this includes incident/event planning (the last two years I was involved with National "Incident Management Remote Response" for Planning Sections, this involved "virtual planning sections" for campaign wildfires due to COVID); designing information/outreach materials and programs.
Examples of "absolutely NOT": anything prescribed fire or community wildfire protection/mitigation. Fire is a complex, high-consequence force of nature and there are elements involved that simply cannot be accounted for completely by computer models and maps, I need to see and walk the ground myself. I would caution strongly against accepting any prescribed fire or community wildfire plan of any sort from someone who has not walked that piece of dirt personally.
Where are you based and how far will you travel?
I'm based in the Southeast Ozarks of Missouri. Travel is negotiable depending on the scope and duration of work. Anything within a 2hr one-way drive-time radius is a "go". Due to current fuel prices, any travel beyond 75 miles one-way will incur a 50 cent/mile mileage fee for the entire round-trip. As a former Federal Firefighter, I'm accustomed to traveling cross-country and am happy to do so if the scope of work requires and we work out a travel expense arrangement.
In your "About" section you talk about "cognitive bias". What's that and how is it relevant?
"How people think (or don't)" is an interesting field, especially applied to public safety, where decisions can be split-second and have real life or death consequences. This is a journey of learning I've been on since starting with the Forest Service, thanks to some great mentors in the field of what I would call "applied incident psychology". I don't purport to be a psychologist or clinician; you could call me an "interested, self- and informally-educated party with relevant experience" who wants to share my insights and observations, and use them in a productive way in my own endeavors. I read, listen, and incorporate everything I can about human cognition and performance (especially under stress/pressure) into my work, coaching/teaching, and eventually writing. Influences include Jeff Cooper, Dave Grossman, and John Boyd along with Malcolm Gladwell, Laurence Gonzalez, and (surprise!) Brene Brown.
What qualifies you to do all this?
As I'm no longer a government employee, my former "quals" no longer hold legal weight. You can't take my experiences, though, which are truly the basis of all of those qualifications.
The long answer is: 25 years of public safety training and experience doing everything from law enforcement and physical security to search and rescue, structural & wildland fire to EMS, dispatch (Fire, LE, and Aircraft) to Incident Management Team (Planning Section Chief), Fire Prevention-Investigation to building community and interagency support for FireWise and Prescribed Fire.
What are your payment terms?
Unless other arrangements are made beforehand, payment is due in full upon receipt of "completed product" (this could be a program, plan, project, or successful conclusion of participation in an incident, event, or prescribed fire for just a few examples).
Invoices for services will be generated here on Wix via Ascend, and may be paid electronically via WixPay (preferred), or by cash, check, or money order.