If Only Everyone Was a Firefighter
By Ray McCormack
What an amazing world, country, state, city, town, we would have if everyone was like us- firefighters. First is the can-do spirit instilled in firefighters that spark initiative and bravery for the completion of tasks big and small; ordinary to extraordinary. The leadership of our first line supervisors that guide and assist us in the safe fulfillment of the daily mission. The overall supervision and accountability of our battles by our commanders, and the passion for quality, reliability, and loyalty that separates us from everyone else that just shows up. We are different… and that is a good thing.
No one said that we are perfect and we can live without perfection because that was never the goal. Some believe it is and beat the drum over and over playing the same unreachable tune. The problem is the song gets played out and the results stay the same. If you want better results you need a more simple message and a delivery that delivers.
Firefighters have admirable traits but we also have faults. Like fires we are both uniquely different and similar too. We are a portion of the general population that has chosen a field of endeavor that many exalt and few dare tread: the fire service. This work is not for everyone and it is a lot more than a heroism-fulfillment fix as some would have you believe.
You need certain physical properties for fire to survive just as firefighters have specific needs. One need is recognition-the most underutilized “Thank You” in the fire service- so simple yet so hard for many to utter. Is it jealousy? It shouldn’t be; what it is without a doubt is a character flaw in those who hold it back. Tell someone that they did well. Recognition of someone else does not diminish you it makes you a bigger person.
What the rest of the world could learn from us would improve all aspects of business and interpersonal relationships. We come together from different 'everythings' and still get the job done. The fire service is the lead organization in catastrophic event control and stabilization. That is because our systems-approach to events and small work-group intimacy gives us a unique ability to maintain control while developing solutions quickly to multi faceted problems.
We aid the brightest, the largest, the weakest, anyone who needs us without filling out any forms or checking quotas. We truly provide service to all who ask without asking for anything in return. Our service transcends public service role modeling because we give more than anyone ever asked for. Our heroes are real people who have gone beyond themselves in thought and action to inspire and guide us.
Have great pride in knowing you do not stand alone and you part of something that many admire and trust in. Know your job as this will help to optimize your effectiveness as well as protect you. Speak up over the din of the naysayers who look to devalue your work and stay tactically safe.
Thank you for all you do and are willing to do
Keep Fire in Your Life
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