If we do what we’ve always done, we’ll get what we’ve always gotten. Old dinosaurs with a single mindset do their dear fire service a great injustice by sticking to their guns on old tried-and-true methods when challenged with facts, and science, and actual accounts which clearly suggest otherwise.
In fact, new students entering into the fire service deserve leadership willing to accept these brave questions without feeling their fragile egos are being attacked. In other words, don’t take it personally when you are asked “why?”
The true leaders in today’s fire service do not adorn themselves with a crown of closed-minded glory. They are open to new ideas and new concepts which they feel is their DUTY and RESPONSIBILITY to pass on to the new generation of firefighters, both for practical use and as an EXAMPLE of how you perpetuate a dynamic and growing fire service.
The true value of any “experienced” fire service leader can only be found in those unthwarted by the recalcitrance of a barricaded mind which can only find comfort wrapped in the chains of their unyielding personal history.
Ask questions, demand answers, adapt to change, and pass it on.
Or die off and become an oil field.
Well put, Mike. Some of the new guys would do well to ask "why" in such a manner as to convey the respect that is deserved by the instructor, and, as you say, a request made the right way should earn our respect to take the time to explain why. No room for "cuz I said so" these days. It makes you look less like a leader and more like an idiot.
Thanks for taking the time to comment, your insight is always appreciated!
Great message John. Sometimes we forget that there was a day we didn't know much and wanted to learn. Being open to those asking, "Why?" is a great motivator for those asking, keeps us sharp, and may help us find holes in our operations when we realize we can't provide a solid answer.
The other angle to consider is how we look at it. Sometimes, we talk about needing to instill our values, traditions, etc. in the younger generations as if the younger generations are missing values and traditions. Obviously, the fire service has great traditions to pass down from one generation to the next. But, we also need to consider that the younger generations may have different but equally valid values or a different take on things. So, instead of trying to change their values it may be easier to take advantage of the values instilled in them. Maybe some change somewhere in the middle is advantageous.
In the Words of Chief Goldfeder, A probie should be the First in and The last to Leave , Make the Coffee and Train, Train ,Train .