Thanks Given to the American Fire Service
By Ray McCormack
The American fire service is a diverse and varied conglomeration of tactics, design and staffing. The threads that bind us are many - and have existed since the first fire department was organized ‘way back when.’ As much as we read - and are instructed on how today’s fires are so different - no one has yet to tell fire. Fire has never strayed from its roots of taking lives and destroying property. This is why our roots are so deep. It is not about not wanting to advance, we must advance, and we must also never lose sight of how to advance, and how to be ready to combat our enemy when ever and where ever it strikes.
Thanks for all you do is not necessary, we do our jobs in spite of recognition and are often humbled when thanked or praised. Humility has served us well. We in this profession favor less limelight and more opportunity. The public knows what we are about and supports our mission: their protection. Can we market ourselves better? Maybe, but be careful how many tasks you take on in order to be business- like. Many once strong businesses have gone bankrupt from over-expansion. While there is nothing wrong with diversity in our daily duties, our core mission is still very old fashioned: we put out fires.
In a rush to create a new business model, we can often miss the mark on customer satisfaction if we believe that our core business is something to downplay in favor of trendy endeavors. We have a dual personality: on one side, we are very public while the other side is internal. We must be sure that what we parade to the public has been well thought out and truly beneficial so we do not diminish our service in an effort to trend-bend.
Thanksgiving is a day of tradition and cooking - and unfortunately fires related to the day’s events. Over 200 million dollars were donated by Uncle Sam over the last six years, specifically for fire prevention and safety. Over half of the funds (100 million plus) have consistently and repeatedly been sent to a short list of colleges, organizations, interest groups and national organizations to facilitate their special messages and unique studies. The remaining balance is divided among hundreds and hundreds of individual fire departments throughout the United States and its territories. The remaining grant recipients have been selected to receive funding to support their prevention programs at the local level. With fires still occurring locally, suppression will be called-out locally. Be ready to serve as always; enjoy the day; deliver safety tactically; and Thank You!