I was having a conversation this week, with a friend of mine who is a retired captain and well respected fire officer and instructor. In the course of this conversation while we were telling funny stories, he was recounting the story of a great firefighter he knew who was moving away. During the process of telling the story he was speaking about how they would operate above the fire and sometimes they would even split up. He then continued and followed it up by saying, “I know now, and I knew then, this was wrong, but we didn’t have that much manpower…” or at least that was our excuse. The fire service always has an excuse.
After he said that, I paused to reflect for a minute and I realized that he was right. Listen to others around you in the fire house. Listen to fire Chiefs. Go to national conferences….we always have an excuse.
I also paused to reflect upon the times that I have used excuses for less than stellar fireground performances of mine.
Lets look at some of the fire service excuses for a variety of things.
That’s the way we’ve always done it.
We just don’t have the fires anymore.
It’s this damn bunker gear it makes us penetrate too far.
We don’t have the manpower, we are a small department.
These new recruits are different today.
It’s all these safety rules and regulations.
…..and many many more…..
There are as many excuses as there are problems and people that bring them up, but it takes a strong willed person to avoid the easy way out and make an excuse, but to stand up and try to do the right thing, and accept responsibility.
Another fire officer I know often says the following…..” I can get anyone of the people out there to give me a reason why or make excuses, all I want and need is just one person to do the job”
Think about it, before you make an excuse next time.