Bobbie on Fire

Bobbie Scopa started her career as a seasonal firefighter in 1974. After graduating from Arizona State University, she went on to work in fire and natural resource management. Eventually she left the wildand agencies to work full time for a structure fire department. She finished her Masters in Forestry at NC State then went back to the US Forest Service and BLM eventually becoming the Assistant Regional Fire Director in Region 6. Bobbie has spent many years working as a type 1 and 2 Operations Section Chief. You can listen to Bobbie tell audio stories from her long career at She has also recently completed her memoir titled “Both Sides Of The Fire Line”. It will be available through Chicago Review Press late summer of 2022.

Put Me In, Coach

“Gas, she needs gas. Get her some gas, NOW!” That was the Operations Chief yelling at the...

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Crises Leadership

This month I’d like to relate a story that happened to me last week. It made me pause and think...

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Speak Up

Back in 2002, I was a new Operations Chief on a type 2 Incident Management Team (IMT). I had been...

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The Art of Keeping Calm in Fire Ground Communications–Even When You’re Not

Keeping calm under stress is an asset in lot of facets of the fire service. When I was a fairly new Captain at a structural fire department, I had to endure a lot of harassment and disrespect by some of the more senior firefighters and officers. I was smart and capable and tested well on the promotional exams. But I didn’t fit in. Not fitting in led to my having a chip on my shoulder and might have exacerbated my problems with “the guys”. But, I had a mentor. The Battalion Chief was excellent. He was older than most of us and had a career’s worth of experience and wisdom. He never showed me any special treatment but offered me some pearls of wisdom that I’ve kept close to my heart ever since.

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