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Thanks to all for listening to the Podcast of "The Rookie". It is exciting to hear that folks are investing an interest in these kids as opposed to the "old ways" of "shut up and earn your spot". Respect is a two way street. If we make them feel like they are members of our team from the first day, they are more likely to accept and take ownership...............Now watch out for their enthusiasm. It is contagious in your firehouse.

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Just listened to your rookie podcast with your Chief Lasky. Very informative, hopefully we are all striving to do this. I would also like to read those ten rookie commandments. Does this also help in their later development? I quess what I'm asking is being on a paid on call department, how do you keep them motivated and try to reward them fairly?
Hey Tom,
Thanks for listening and commenting on the podcast. It is good to know that folks are listening and taking an interest in our young firefighters. MOST young firefighters don't need to be motivated, they just NEED NOT BE demotivated. At our department, we put ours folks through a 3 week orientation (they are already certified FF/PM). Once assigned to a shift, they are assigned to a single mentor (a tenured firefighter that we believe has the right attitude and will take the time to teach and build confidence) for a number of shifts. This relationship should be intact for the better part of the first year. They also have a "first year" book that lists several benchmarks that they must accomplish and check off throughout the year. This keeps them pretty busy. Busy is GOOOOD!
You are so right, most recruits don't need to be motivated, they are like a sponge are as someone said the other day a "blank piece of paper". Have always thought about the mentoring but never actually asigned it to anyone. Sometimes it just happens on it's own. It's the 3-10 year firefighter that we have the problem of motivating. Thanks for your comments and advice and if you get a chance I would like those ten rookie commandments.
Hey Tom,
Just a quick thought, sometimes that 3-10 year guy can be motivated by making them mentor others. The whole pygmalian effect can kick in with these guys. We set the expectation that they are capable of being a great mentor that will have a direct effect on the outcome of the new guy and low and behold, they turn into a great mentor.
I haven't been drinking enough of the kool aid to believe that all dead butts will be beneficial to the new guy. Yet, this is the dead butt that needs to have his expectations raised to an acceptable level. And, sometimes that respectable level is above minimum standard. We should instill in our people the idea that we want our people to be above and beyonders, not just guys who answer the calls.
With all of that said, Chief Wells is correct that it all begins with the new folks. If we treat them right, they will treat their new guy right who will treat their new guy right and as Billy G says, "And the beat goes on..."
Be safe brothers


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