Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Practitioner-initiated research

A reader of the Director's Desk corresponded off-blog with me yesterday about a certain type of firework that he and I both feel should be banned. In the email, he also sent me the link to an interesting article in Yesterday's New York Times. The New York City Fire Department is doing some investigation of its own into the dynamics of fires involving modern furnishings.

I am a huge fan of challenging the conventional wisdom, and being willing to put it to the test. I also support trying new and different things, when the circumstances are right, i.e. the risk is low, no large capital investment is needed, and there is a readily-invoked back up plan if the bright idea turns out to be a problem.

What particularly interests me in this article is that it represents practitioner-initiated research. In my view, some of the very best research in policing, firefighting, and public safety begins with ground-floor involvement from the practitioners. When the police officers or firefighters help to frame the research questions, develop the methodology, and interpret the results I feel you get a better research product, and I absolutely know that you are more likely to have the results incorporated into practice.


Steve said...

As much as I enjoy watching fireworks, it wouldn't bother me at all if we were to ban all fireworks outside of those put on by commercial or public organizations. I wouldn't care about private citizens using fireworks if it weren't for the fact that so many people abuse the current laws, won't pick up the trash they create, and have no regard for their neighbors. I don't really care if they burn down their own houses, or blow their own fingers off, but blowing up mailboxes, and setting off what sounds like atomic bombs at all hours is a bit much.

Certainly, if for no other reason than the fire hazard, the sky lanterns ought to be banned. While we're at it, releases of helium balloons don't serve much of a purpose and are virtually nothing more than mass littering and an environmental hazard.

Trevor Brass said...

Sky Lanterns don't have helium in them, as they rely on hot air. When the fuel is exhausted, they float down again as the air inside cools.

We're all libertarians until we encounter something that ought to have a law for its removal.

Anonymous said...

Steve-Go ahead. Express your freedom tomorrow. Shoot off your S&W 500 at any floating sky lanterns. Then rev your motorcycle engine up to about 9000 rpm a few times. Have a nice 4th!!!!


Steve said...

Trevor: I know how the lanterns work. I was referring to the helium balloon releases such as those at Husker games, other school events, and such.


Do you think Tom will tell his people to let me have my fun, since it's only one day a year? :)

Anonymous said...

I always look forward to the Fourth of July to experiment with some of the things I learned in Chemistry Class way back when. I can count on one hand the number of times I have used Calculus in the past forty years but Chemistry Class is a gift that keeps on giving LOL.
Have a safe & happy fourth all,
Gun Nut

Anonymous said...

Steve @ 9:18 AM: I agree TOTALLY with this comment!!