What's your legacy?
I am once again saddened by the number of our brothers who are going to work and not making it home. It seems like this year has been particularly bad, especially with the California fires. We are losing America’s firefighters at an alarming rate. Some of our brothers are being killed while they are deployed and defending our freedom, some are fighting the fires on the west coast and some are happening “up the street”.
Have you ever given any thought about what type of legacy you leave behind? Recently, an old friend passed away from my former fire department in NY. After thinking about him and how he was towards others, I started thinking about myself. What kind of fire service life am I leading? Am I doing the best I can, not for myself, but for the guys that I work with?
I know that we, as a fire service, “expect” that 100 of us will die each year. What other vocation has these unacceptable figures. Let’s face it; many times these circumstances are out of our control. As hard as we might try, no matter what we do, this could be the day. We know about the risks associated with our chosen profession, but what are we doing to minimize these risks? Are you taking this job as seriously as you should? What are YOU going to do about it? Are you willing to start today?
We can easily log onto the internet and reach out to anyone, anywhere, at anytime. We have the ability to ask questions and post responses to gain additional knowledge from anyone within our industry. As little as 5 years ago, this was impossible. Find someone who can help you and ask that person a question. Then find another and do the same. Before you know it, you will have connected and learned along the way.
I once overheard a friend say that there was only one “stupid question” you could ever ask and it went something like this…..
“If you ever see me in a bar and you ask if you can buy me a beer, then that my friend, is a stupid question”. (Thanks OG).
There have been some excellent articles written recently on “Mentoring” (Ben Fleagle), and I can’t think of a better time to embrace that. Grab a probie or a young guy and sit him down. Share with him what you have learned. Do it today, it may be your only chance.
When one of our Brothers fall, we all fall. We must continue to learn and convert our passion for fighting fires and enhance our training. We must always strive to overcome any differences that exist and stop settling for the mediocre training. We must commit to bettering ourselves and each other. Fire does not care if your career or volunteer. We are building our own legacy, each and every day.
There are many acronyms in our business. Maybe I could offer another for us to think about. I know that there are more than enough to remember, but what if we stayed true to this one?
Live your life doing the right thing (FOOLS-DTRT)
Energy to train and maintain
Girth, do something about it
Attitude, find a positive one
Care about your brothers, and mean it
You’re the only one who can change you
Brothers, we are in a dangerous job. We need you to be here for the long term. Live your life today with a passion. Do it for your wife, your parents, your kids, your friends, but mainly do it for you.
Train like your life depends on it, because it does.
What would your spouse, your neighbors, your coworkers say about you today?
Not at your eulogy, but about you now at this moment.
How do you want to be remembered?
Live your lives in the fire service like you have the opportunity of a lifetime; because you do. I have a friend that is often overheard saying the he is “Livin’ the Dream”. That’s as true as it can be told. We have the chance to be part of the best profession on the planet. Let’s leave it better than we found it!
So, What's your legacy?
Middle TN F.O.O.L.S Chapter