As many of them are, this week’s commentary comes from a conversation of the past week.
I was discussing and pretending to solve the problems of the fire service when a fellow worker told me this story.
He was at work during a slower period, when he began to write just short one line sentences, each describing a particular thing wrong with his department. He just sat for a few more minutes and then realized that he had filled one page, and had now spilled over onto the start of a second page.
As he was telling me the story, I was thinking about myself and how I had done this some number of times. I also began to think about other commentary columns I had read, and just recently, that I had written myself.
Gee, I am a real genius, I can find a problem at a hundred yards ! Finding is pretty easy, solving is something else altogether!
As we began to discuss this “list’ constructed as a pastime, we both agreed that many of the items could be found in any fire service organization in America.
I then thought to myself, well suppose, just suppose we all make a list, just like the one made above.
Part II is, that we have to then make a second list of all the things that are right about our department, and things that go well.
Part III is really the toughest of all, and leads back to my title.
Pick one of the items on the “what’s wrong list” and do everything in your power, whatever rank you are, and try to fix it this year. Yes I know you might be limited in what you can do, but if there is a morale problem in your department, don’t YOU be the one at the kitchen table contributing to it. If training is a problem, then you do everything in your power to read, study and train.
This is really a tough personal assignment, and maybe it could even catch on. Let us not become like the two school kids that are fighting in the schoolyard, let us not bring up multiple problems, because somebody might just call you on that and say “…Yeah,…and what are you going to do about it?”
Tell me what you think, e-mail with your comments and / opinions.