Standing there on the asphalt, dripping with sweat and eyes squinting from the noon sun, I think to myself, “Let’s go again.” Most in this world would not even try it once; while a few will stop only by force. The five-story burn tower, in August, at the midday – is not the lazy boy with the A/C on high. For a Firefighter, seeking to out-perform the chemical chain reaction and its affects on the gravity resistance system, it is the most important place to be. Nothing worth doing is easy.
Passion, drive, dedication, honor, duty, sacrifice and courage; words to describe a Firefighter, but not all Firefighters. While at a very significant Firefighter Training Conference, I was walking behind a fellow Firefighter, I can only assume, who was wearing a t-shirt that read, “Firefighters, we are here to save your a**…not kiss it.” Inside my head thoughts raced, some I will not utter here. Does anyone else despise those types of shirts and other propaganda for the fair-weather fire service members? Spending one day at a trade show, then drinking beer all night does not equal 365 days of pure commitment and devotion. Nothing worth doing is easy.
Assets and liabilities, which side of the table do you sit? There are varying degrees of conviction to the profession of Firefighter. Do you feel guilty some days when you are doing an activity other then trade related? While driving, do you softly speak a first due size up or look for building construction characteristics? Do your pros and cons list always consider how life choices affect fireground abilities? Can you not turn off the fire switch in your head? Be an asset not a fireground liability. Nothing worth doing is easy.
Waiting for fire, is not an option. “We cannot control how many fires we see, but we can control how prepared for fires we are.” My personal mission statement, a mantra, not only to myself, but to those I serve and serve with. 99% of what we are supposed to do is be prepared for fire. We get one opportunity to leave it all on the line when the bell rings or tones drop. From the simplest service call to the most daring rescue of life, our job, our duty is to solve the problem with respect and integrity. Nothing worth doing is easy.
The title. Do you seek to have a title or do you seek to earn the title, everyday. Although this has been said before, it merits repeating. Never stop earning the title of Firefighter. There are plenty of other vocations in the world if you seek glory and entitlement. The Fire Service is not one of them. We play as a team and only pay tribute to a select few. Nothing worth doing is easy.
Standing there on the asphalt, dripping with sweat and eyes squinting from the noon sun, I think to myself, “I love this job.” The five-story burn tower, in August, at the midday – is not the lazy boy with the A/C on high. There is no other profession I seek to hold and no other place I would want be. Nobody said it would be this easy.