Politics, attitudes and every other negative thing you can think of is in and around our firehouses at any given time. Its an unfortunate, yet true fact of our culture/life.
But, through the thick of this negativity, do you ever take a minute to step back and remember WHY WE ARE HERE? Why do or did we have the passion that a young child visiting the firehouse does. Do you remember how things SEEMED to be when we first came into the firehouse? Before you even succumb to all of the aforementioned politics, negativity?
You hear it all of the time... "It's not the same", "I wish this place was better", "I wish my department was motivated", "INSERT NAME HERE is making this place horrible". But, who is to blame? Sure, nothing is perfect and the grass isn't always greener somewhere else. But, since when is it acceptable to "GIVE UP" in the fire service? As far as I'm concerned its not ok and its up to ALL OF US to make the positive change we all desire.
So, you're probably saying "that all sounds good, but what do we do?" I think the first thing to do is take a time out and figure out what is troubling your department or station. Your not going to change the world or fix things overnight. But, you have to start somewhere. Most young people are starving for information and knowledge. Basic information and knowledge at that. So, get up and start teaching them. Motivate them and others to have the same mindset. Remember, a positive attitude is infectious, just as a negative one is. You'll run into road blocks, but its up to you to possess the courage and strength it takes to succeed. In other words.... Never give in and never give up. If you want positive change, start with yourself and build an unstoppable army of GREAT firefighters from there. It will certainly take some time, but the end rewards will be seen for decades to come.