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“Are you Taking Care of Business?”

I was trying to come up with some stuff to motivate the troops today, and this concept suddenly hit me like a brick. Am I” Taking Care of Business?”
We all know (those who aren’t communist) that Elvis was the King of Rock and Roll. He had a symbol he began using later in his career. It was a lightning bolt with the letters TCB inside of it. This became his mantra, or better yet, his mission statement. We also know that is how he lived his life. Singing, living hard, and shooting TVs. The most important thing is that he took care of the people around him; his friends, his family, and even strangers off the street. Taking Care of Business. All of it.
I began to dissect my career as a Firefighter and an Officer. Am I following that three letter credo? Do I take care of the things I need to? I know that I try, but do I really do it? I know what I am supposed to do as a man, a husband, a father, and a Firefighter. I asked myself again, am I Taking Care of Business?
Well…I have to say that I think I am, but can I do better? Sure, we all can. In every aspect of our lives, but in this case, I mean your job. You know, THE JOB, the one that we all brag and swagger about being apart of. And rightly so; this profession is filled with the toughest, smartest, most dedicated, hard chargers I have ever had the privilege of working with.
That being said, are you Taking Care of Business? When you go in to work in the morning, are you ready to roll?

Firefighter: Are you prepared to start work NOW? Turnouts are good? Tools? SCBA? Radio? But most importantly, knowledge and attitude? TCB?
Engineer/Driver: Are you prepared to work the BIG ONE? Is your equipment in order? How’s the pump? Saws and tools? And again, knowledge and attitude? TCB?
Station Officer: Are your people prepared? Have you provided them the tools they need to not only save lives, but possibly their own, or their brother’s? Have you got the knowledge and attitude? TCB?
Chief Officers: Are all of your people ready to strap it on and fight the big one? Do you know the job, and your city? Do the folks on the big red trucks know that they can trust your knowledge and judgment? TCB?

It’s kind of like mojo. When you know what you’re doing and are confident, you develop that swagger we talked about. Let me tell you something else: it’s infectious. Pretty soon you’ll have a station full of hard chargers that refuse to take no for an answer and will TCB. I know that we talk about this kind of thing a great deal. There are great articles on this very topic by guys that have way better credentials, and more bugles, than me. My question is: What are you doing about it? Are you Taking Care of Business? Everyone’s performance and ability to function correctly, hinges on the next guy in the chain. We all are like a house of cards, or better yet, a truss. If one of us fails, we all fail. On the other hand, if we all work to make the unit stronger, more nails and better wood, we will only be stronger. Firefighters: help the new guys, they’re looking to you. Engineers: help train that firefighter to drive and pump. Officers: get those guys under you proficient, and also ready for the next step. Chief: you must prepare your people for the future of our profession and get them ready to take over one day. It’s the chain, mojo, swagger, and confidence, whatever you want to call it. It’s incumbent on us to make it happen. That my friends, is Taking Care of Business.

Ben Marler
Captain, Franklin Fire Dept.
Member, Mid-Tenn FOOLS

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Hey brother fool. Nice work here. Gonna point my members here to read this
Thanks, Brent. Looks like ya'll are on your way to TCB. When everyone is involved and takes ownership, it means a great deal more and becomes personal. KTF. Ben
Thanks, Brother. Just some thoughts that have been bumping around in my head. Hope it helps. Elvis lives. FTM-PTB.
Excellent writing brother, I try to instill into everyone of my firefighters the pride, honor and integrity of this noble profession. Our department explains and shows how to properly use and maintain equipment vital to our profession. We also remind our firefightes that the public we serve does not owe us, we owe them for letting us be a part of the greatest profession in the world!

Stay Safe!!

Absolutely, Joe. I think we all lose sight in the fact that the public is our boss. I am the coordinator of my department's Citizens' Fire Academy. It's an 8 week class that we have boiled down to just the "good stuff". They get to wrap the class up by doing a live burn at our training facility. We do this free of charge. The cops make their class pay and when asked why we don't, I told them that they already paid for all of the equipment, stations, and salaries. Why should they pay to have fun. Besides, the PR is great and the citizens now understand why we need all of "that stuff". Take care, Brother. RFB

Being ready to respond and take care of our citizens, should be our #1. Leading with the idea of TCB is a great way. Making sure our firefighters are ready at shift change, not half hour later, that the rig has been checked out and ready to go, knowing that us as officers are geared up and ready for the "big call" or the "little call", this is very important. Nice article, it made me think! Know the job, and know your city!
Thanks for the kind words, Michael. I appreciate it, especially from a seasoned veteran. Your right, big or little, we have to go at it the same way. You and Bailey take care. KTF

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