Santa as a fire Officer / Instructor

Santa is an Fire Officer / Instructor !

It is Christmas and I began letting myself think of what makes Santa so magical and wonderful even as adults. As I sat sipping my egg nog (No I am not telling you if it was spiked or not!) I had some interesting thoughts.

I ask you to indulge me for a few minutes and consider the following:

* Santa is looked up to and folks look forward to him coming into their life. Be the kind of person and officer that your personnel are happy to see. Be firm and fair but don’t ever let it be said “Boy are we lucky you weren’t there Capt.” Make your troops believe in you and lead and inspire them to want to work and wait for you.

* Santa brings gifts to everyone. Bring small gifts to your personnel. Give them parts of yourself and your knowledge and experience. Allow them to make small mistakes and give them freedom to make some decisions. These are all gifts you can give.

* Santa has a list of who is naughty and nice. Evaluate your personnel on a regular basis and tell them how they are doing in meeting your expectations. Know and understand what each of your personnel’s capabilities are and their level of training.

* Santa has lots of helpers. Make sure you surround yourself with people who will help you. Do not be afraid to delegate responsibility and authority to others. No officer or instructor is an island and when you begin to micro-manage you cause more damage then you can imagine. Have lots of helpers and get out of their way!

* Santa prepares 364 days for one night’s work. I hope that you train each and every day, because tonight could be the night that impacts many many lives. It could be positive or negative, but remember…..just like Santa, everyone is counting on you! Be prepared.

* Santa is never seen out of uniform. All right enough said!

* Although there is a “naughty and nice list” everyone gets a present. be sure that you make an attempt to share knowledge opportunities and experiences with all. Even the members of your department you may not be especially close to. Give of yourself to everyone.

* Santa takes cookies and milk from lots of folks. As an officer or instructor take a little something from all of those that you interact with. Do not believe that you are the only one who can give”presents”. Lots of folks have lots to give….be sure you don’t ever believe you know it all. Learn from others.

* Santa is very good at time management. Hey you don’t get all around the world in one night by sitting in the recliner watching TV all night you know! As an officer remember to make your time on duty count for all that it is worth. Not only is Santa watching but so are the rest of the troops and they have really good memories!

* Santa feeds and takes care of the reindeer all year long even when he is not using them. Make sure all of your apparatus and portable equipment is ready to go!

* Santa has kept up with the times. Although the origin of Santa is always debated, Santa has lasted for the ages. Make sure that you remain current with all of the latest and greatest trends in the fire service. Don’t get stuck in a time warp and repeat the same year over and over again. Be timeless and ageless. Not everyone really cares “about the way it used to be”.

* Santa is most appreciated by the children. never underestimate the power you have on new members of our profession. These “young folks” look at each and every move you make and attitude you foster. Make them all really believe in Santa.

* Santa always make sure he makes it home to Mrs. Claus. Enough said about this one too.

OK, so he is a little overweight and he knows that heart attacks can kill us, and I realize that the beard doesn’t meet the NIOSH/OSHA standard for wearing SCBA…….but you gotta admit Santa has some pretty good traits for an officer or instructor, doesn’t he?

Stay Safe, take care of one another, appreciate your families and please accept from me my sincerest wishes for a safe and Merry Christmas to all!

Pete Lamb
Copyright 2013