Watch Out !! ….but watch out for what?

Watch Out !! 

This is great advice for firefighters. This could be during a response while driving, it could be operating exterior at a collapse situation, it could be interior for signs of hostile fire conditions.

But today I am talking about non fire situations. We as fire service prfessionals should be like the wise old owl with their head on a swivel. We should be watching many, many things.

Look around at our crew. Are we the best we can be? Does someone appear to be “off” suffering from personal problems or issues?

Look around for positive actions from the superiors. Watch out and catch your troops doing something right.

Watch out for the political climate in your community. Watch out for the slipping of public support.

Watch out for each and every learning situation and teachable moments. Sometimes these maybe routine things in every day life that you could take a lesson and apply it to your situation in the fire service. I have made teachable moments from eating in a restaurant, to a song playing on the radio. Sometimes even the most routine or mundane things can trigger a thought that makes a difference.

Watch out for the ability to improve yourself.

Look in the mirror often. Not to promote your ego or self importance but take the time for honest self reflection.

Remember when someone yells watch out, you should duck, run, throw water, or do something! You see it is natural to take some action. Thensame goes in a non emergency situation. Ifnyounsee something, DO SOMETHING! Take an action always, but think first.

Think about these things, and maybe the next time someone yells Watch Out!, you will already have them beat because your have been watching all along!