Love it & Honor it! The fire service has enough posers and T-shirt firefighters!
The fire service needs clear headed dedicated people of strong character. Who are passionate about helping others and willing to pay the price day in and day out to master the art of firefighting. I have yet to meet anyone drafted into the fire service whether you are paid or volunteer you made a conscious decision to join the fire service, and I hope with the full knowledge of what will be expected of you and not for reasons such as pay, benefits or social recognition because eventually the challenges of this job will reveal you for who you truly are.
You will be expected to put yourself in harm’s way to save someone’s life
No matter the location or size of your community the citizens that work and dwell within it are expecting you to risk your life to protect them. They have entrusted the selfless and dedicated men and woman of the fire service with their lives and we can’t let them down. In the course of fulfilling your duty, you will have to place yourself in harm’s way for a total stranger. You will have to go were death is lurking fully aware of the consequences. That is why ours is a noble calling and that is what makes you a firefighter.
There are no short cuts! You always reap what you sow.
Being a good firefighter is a process which happens over time not overnight. You will not receive instant gratification or respect; you will have to follow the natural process of hard work and growth that makes it possible. You will need to commit yourself to constant and continuous process of improvement to reveal and harness your full potential. Don’t lower your expectations to meet your performance. Raise your performance to meet your expectations. Expect the best of yourself, and then do what is necessary to make it a reality.
Be Humble; never be afraid to ask for help or admit you don’t know something.
Many firefighters believe it is a sign of weakness to admit you don’t know something or to ask for help. They spend a great deal of time creating an overinflated image of themselves and their capabilities which lulls them into a false sense of competence. Asking for help or admitting you don’t know everything is a sign of intelligence, strength and character. Humility will keep you on the path to success and alive.
Attitude determines the speed with which you achieve success
Attitude is about the frame of mind with which you approach every day. It determines the habits and behaviors you develop to achieve success or failure. No one becomes a good firefighter alone and if you want your fellow firefighters help you will have to inspire them by demonstrating a good work ethic, positive outlook and a never say quit spirit. Having a good attitude doesn’t mean there won’t be struggles it means there will be people in your corner to help you through them. Nothing can stop or deter a person with the right attitude and nothing can help a person with the wrong attitude.
Train,Train, Train and then… Train some more
Many firefighters make the mistake of thinking that once they graduate from basic training their training is over but it has only just begun. If you plan on being a good firefighter you will have to make everyday a quest to become the best firefighter you can be by challenging yourself to learn something new. At first there will be a lot to learn and it can seem overwhelming but if you prioritize your training and pace yourself you will have a better chance of absorbing and retaining important information and skills. Set goals for yourself and take advantage of every training opportunity available. Un-plug from your smart phone and plug into the conversation at the kitchen table. Listen to the senior members of your company share their experiences and lessons they are worth their weight in gold! The day you think you don’t need to train should be your last day as a firefighter!
Be Safe. Be Ready!