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I am wanting to know where the desire has gone to do this job? When I was young growing up around the fire service everyone seemed to have so much pride and drive that nothing could get in the way of them doing what they loved. Now I see new members come in and not put hardly any focus or effort into learning about the fire service. As a Captain I teach members everything I can and make myself available for any questions they need answered, but it seems like my phone is ringing less and less as time goes on. I know this is a nation wide issue and there really hasn’t been a quick fix found yet. What I am wanting to know is if YOU still love this job the way you did when you started and why? Is it just the way the fire service is now? And what on earth can be done to instill pride, and desire for the job in these new members?

I’ll answer my first question and see what you think.

What I am wanting to know is if YOU still love this job the way you did when you started and why?

I love this job with all my heart and never have strayed from that feeling. The brotherhood (true brotherhood) is something that only Firefighters are able to understand and experience. I still get excited when the tones and I get that feeling in my bones that its time to go do your job. When I walk into my station I am overwhelmed with a feeling of pride that this house is something I’ve helped build into a well oiled machine and watched grow sense I was a little boy. I want to pass this job on to my son so he can understand the true meaning of loving your job. I love this job and I will till the day I die.

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Replies to This Discussion

I share your passion for the job. The only thing I know to do is keep bombarding them with history, tradition and training. Be positive and enthusiastic each shift even when it is a challenge. I don't think it is a lack of desire, at least not where I work. It seems that we run fewer fires than in the past. We train for the big one as often as possible, but they need to get out and use those skills on real incidents to keep that drive to learn more. To keep them interested, I try to go over some type of history or tradition article at breakfast on Sundays. Just pick a tool, topic or strategy and do a few minutes of research on the internet. To answer your question, YES, I still love the job. My responsibilities are different now and there are things that I miss about the earlier years, but I still love it. When we are busy running calls, everyone is happy.
I love the job more now than 26 years ago, but we live in a different world today than in years gone by. It up to us to stay focused and passionate for the job everyday. We have more training tools tools available to us now, so as firefighter or boss, we must use them to motivate our members. Everyday is a new opportunity! Keep the Faith Brother! Never let the members coming on the job now forget our Pride and Tradition that this job brings with it every time you put your badge on!

Stay Safe
I share your love for the brotherhood. There is nothing better than helping others and working as a team with your brothers and sisters! I started as a volunteer and I am now paid and I have seen this loss of pride and enthusiasm on both sides. I try to surrond myself with people in the department that share the same passion and desire that I have and we try to spread it to others. We have been able to pass the flame if you will to others. I don't have as many years on as some but to hear my father speak of years gone by and to see where I am now it is discouraging. I can't put my finger on what may be the cause but I see the same lack of enthusiasm in every type of job. It seems that people don't take pride or invest themselves in things as they used to. As my friends and I say, "you have two groups, firemen and county employees". People that take pride in their job and strive to do more and people that come to work to collect a check. I agree with the others that have posted here. Search out others that share your passion and spread it to the others. Let them see your enthusiasm and it will spread.
I want to thank you brothers for your replies and being willing to voice your love for the job. Its just necessary at times to put yourself out there and see if others feel the same way you do about this great job we do. Thank you for your encouraging word of wisdom and advice. I will always believe in this job and pass it on as much as I possibly can to old and new members. Thank you again.

Dan Rice
I'm fairly new to the fire service (2 years on a paid dept), and I didn't grow up around it. I didn't start training to be a fire fighter until I was 27. But one of the first things that struck me was the tremendous sense of pride and tradition that I read about and heard about from fire fighters that I spoke to. Now that I am on a dept, I have to say that I've been less than impressed with the attitudes from some of my "brothers". I long for that sense of team and brotherhood, the sense that I am a part of something bigger than myself. But I just don't see it. The newer guys (my generation) don't have a feeling a gratitude for the job and for those who came before us. The older guys seem to be so disgruntled that they just want to get to retirement. This is obviously a generalization; there are those who put their hearts and souls into the fire service. But I haven't felt that overwhelming sense of belonging since starting fulltime. I recently read another forum on teamwork, and most mentioned that the most important aspect of teamwork is TRUST. In my dept, I don't think anyone trusts the leadership or each other. One of the reasons I'm on this website is to try and build my own knowledge of tradition, and do what I can to re-introduce it. I have started another forum, asking what are other departments time-honored traditions. As I continue to work and live here, I want to rebuild that sense of trust and brotherhood. I want to have traditions. I don't want other newbies to feel the same letdown as I do. For those of you who put in time and effort to keeping those traditions and teamwork, PLEASE KEEP IT UP!!!!
Charley,
I understand your disappointment in the brotherhood but let me assure you that it is still something strong and meaningful to many firefighters in todays service. It is harder to find yes, but it is still out there. At my station that is one thing I push for and work on just as hard as the training that we do. Brotherhood is the true fire service and that aspect of it will never die. Where I work sounds a lot like your career place, very disheartening and depressing at times. Advice is sometimes hard to give on subjects like this but the best I have is to just hang in there and keep the faith. Your desire to bring the brotherhood back to life will take you far and be respected but it’s something that may take time. Don’t be afraid to vocalize your concerns with your peers and ask them why its not something they strive for. But regardless of the responses know that you are a brother that serves in the greatest career in the world. Be safe and keep the faith.

Dan
I feal your pain, and share your passion. I too have noticed how over the years the passion that most guys had has disapeard. And how the new troops dont seam to share the passion we once had when we started, did we let them down? Is it simply a different mentality now? I didnt grow up around the fire service yet I was hooked the first time I sat in at a fire prevention seminar at my school in first grade. I new at that time thats what I want to do, at 17 I joined our local fire dept at 22 I got my degree in fire science and finally at 29 I became a career firefighter.I believe this is the best job in the world paid or volunteer and the true essence of brotherhood is alive and strong at times. Unfortunately most times your feelings that the brotherhood is strong is during tragic LODD's. I do my part trying to pass tradition and attempts to inspire, sometimes it works better than others. I have passed around Chief Laskys book "Pride and Ownership" and that has helped light the fire for some guys as well. I guess I will leave you with the same advice a firefighter gave me once, "one brother at a time, its infectious"
Take care and stay safe and keep the passion alive

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