Reputation Some Fire Service Examples to Ponder

What do we want for our professional reputation? If our reputation is being built each and every day by our actions, what do we want others to think of us?

This question applies to us if we are firefighters, fire officers, fire instructors, people in general as human beings, and the agency we work for. Our personal and professional reputation also breeds the reputations of persons around us and our acceptable culture.

Remember also, your perception of your reputation and what others may think are vastly different.

Let’s start at the department or agency level for a minute and think about some reputations…

XYZ department is extremely professional, they look and act smart, and they are very effective in doing their job.

XYZ department looks professional, has great equipment, but boy those guys couldn’t fight a fire if it was their own station.

XYZ department is small, has limited equipment, low manpower, but boy do they train every week. I am surprised at how good they perform given the tools that they have.

XYZ department, all those guys are just there because it is their second job.

XYZ department are great firefighters, but they do nothing with inspections and code enforcement.

XYZ department…..What a great bunch of guys.

Now the above were just a bunch of views, and you could probably put names on them all, but the point was if you recognized, your department in there ….are you proud to say that is the one you belong to?

As firefighters….

FF. XYZ is a great “Jake” that really knows his job.

FF. xyz really doesn’t give a damn anymore.

FF xyz works his side job while he is on duty.

FF xyz is all smoke and mirrors, he really cannot do the job.

FF xyz would help anybody at any time.

FF xyz is my friend.

FF xyz is a no nonsense level headed person.

Which of those do you want to be known as?

As fire officers….

Lt. xyz forgot where they came from.

Lt. Xyz understands.

Lt. xyz really knows his job and he will never get us hurt.

If you have a technical question, or a personal problem go talk to Lt. xyz you will find help.

Lt. xyz is a sneak and a liar.

Lt. xyz is book smart, studied hard, but cannot do the job.

Lt. xyz hides and shy away from tough problems.

Lt. xyz won’t make a decision.

Which of these officers do you want to be?

It applies to training, life in general and all around. After you read this week’s column, take a few minutes, sit in a chair and think about how you are being viewed, and think about how your agency is viewed by others.

Heck if you have the least amount of intestinal fortitude, ask your boss, officer, or supervisor how they perceive you, and maybe if you are steering wrong, they might have the nerve to tell you honestly and help and guide you.

If they seem too timid too answer or evade you….print this column and leave it for them, maybe it will help!

Pete Lamb
Copyright 2013