There were a couple of things that crossed my desk last week and a couple of conversations that I had that lead me to this quick thought for the week.
One of the articles I read on The Backstep Firefighter was written by Ron Ayotte , Deputy Chief in Marlborough Massachusetts. In the article he speaks about “The job” and hinges like personal pride etc..
My thought is pretty specific and I want you to ask yourself as you go to your next shift or if you are a call or volunteer person, think about it the next time you go to the station.
When you go to the station bring all of your qualifications with you. That is remember and practice all of the skills and things you have been taught. All of that old firefighter I and II stuff and officer I or what ever training you have. Don’t do the job half way.(Those that know me real well were not expecting the word way after the word half!)
Qualification are a good thing to bring to the station, work, and “The Job”.
So what is a qualifier, then?
Qualifiers are what all human beings bring with them all day long. It is part of their everyday carry items.
” I am not going to do house duties today, because the other shift did not do it yesterday”.
“I am not going to train today because Captain XYZ does make his shift train, I worked there the other day and they don’t do anything”
“I am going to do as little as I can today because the city doesn’t care about the firefighters”
“I am not going to be nice to anybody today because……(and you can fill in the blanks here, because each of you now know what I am talking about)
I will do my job with all of these extra qualifiers which determine how well and how effective I am going to be.
I have a simple message for all firefighters and it is similar to the article I referenced earlier or a recent fire engineering article by Assistant Chief Tom Warren on a similar subject.
The fire service is the best job in the world, everyday we may be called upon to play the Super Bowl , handling an incident we never dreamed of, everyday we are thrust into people’s lives on the worst day the have ever had…..there is no room for qualifiers.
I am guilty of this same thing at many points in my career so I am certainly not without fault. I am trying to help folks not make similar mistakes that I have made in the past.
When you go on duty, bring and use all of your qualifications, but leave the qualifiers in storage where they belong!
Stay Safe and have a great week!
Pete Lamb @ Copyright 2012
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