What do these two little words mean to you in your life? They have different meanings for all of us I’m sure, but, how much thought do we give to these words in our Professional lives as Firemen and as Brothers?
In our everyday lives we are engaged in sports, playing, coaching, watching, etc. We are engaged in our families, by being loving husband or wives, fathers or mothers, watching our children grow into well rounded adults. We own cars, houses, computers, cell phones, you name it, we seem to own it. I’m sure everyone out there could fill the page or pages with more, but what do these two little words mean to us as a Fireman? Look in the mirror and ask yourself, if the same level of engagement and ownership at home, is the same level you put forth, when the bell sounds, if everyone did, this would not have never been written.
Do you take ownership of the Fire Service? Many of our “brothers” will tell you they do, while they are on that cell phone they own, discussing their secondary job for the next day, in the middle of a light weight building construction class? Think about you and the members you rely on every day. This example is only one of a thousand different examples floating around our Profession.
Is your department, your company, or most importantly you as a Professional Firefighter, regardless, career or volunteer, fully engaged in your Profession for your tour, however long it might be? Do you train, using relevant training or do or you officers pencil whip it to make everything look in order? Do the officers and the senior members work with the younger, newer members to mentor them, or is that “silly training” we just did a couple months ago? Okay, so what’s your point!
Are we as a Fireman fully engaged to the job at hand? I say absolutely not for many of us and to me that is unacceptable. Josh Materi, from the Seattle Fire Department put it best. I hope many of you have seen the quote, if not try using that computer you own to search Facebook for it, instead of checking out prospective dates or local pubs. Pay attention to lessons learned by becoming engaged in the recent events going on in our Profession, the rescues in Lowell Mass, wall collapses injuring our Brothers in Detroit, and many more. Become Engaged in our Job, not the fantasy football team you are going up against next Sunday.
Every tour is a training tour; every tour is a learning tour. Fires happen period. We as true Brothers would take a job every shift, but, it doesn’t work out that way. Every time we get on the rig, is a time for us to shine, because we are not being called just to see our smiling faces. We are being called to mitigate someone’s worst day. For those out there that do not like running calls or feel the strong need to drive extra slow to that alarm activation, because you are sure it’s false or we might get disregarded, consider another line of work! This Profession is about so much more than a paycheck and days off. Our Profession is about saving Lives and Property, it is time for all of the Fire Service to stand up look in the mirror and treat Ownership and Engagement as Priority number 1.
Stay Safe Brothers!