What is it that you consider Brotherhood? Is it confined to duty hours? Is it all the time, but mainly for your crew or shift? Just your department? Local firefighters that you know?
Or does it extend to every firefighter everywhere, career, volunteer, black, white, purple, or not? If not, why in the world not?
Do we not share the same passion, the same vocation? Does fire not burn with the same intensity in Marlboro Mass., Kingsbury IN, Melbourne AU, London, New York, Argentina, Egypt and everywhere else in the world?
So why would you not treat everyone as a Brother or Sister firefighter?
I experienced a little unexpected Brotherhood today. I received word that my proposal to present at FDIC was not selected. A big disappointment, but then something happened to brighten my day. I received a number of messages from folks that I barely know who follow my blog offering encouragement and well wishes. One of them was Bobby Halton.
I was awed that Bobby would take time out of his day to offer me some words of encouragement! I am nobody special, certainly not important enough to have the Editor in Chief of Fire Engineering reach out to me!
But here is something I learned today boys and girls. True Brotherhood will reach out from the guy riding backwards next to you up to the highest places in the Fire Service community. As well it should.
Don't ever think that you have nothing to offer someone when it comes to the Brotherhood. Reach out. Offer that word of encouragement, give the best advice you can to one another, hold each other up and never let your Brothers and Sisters down!
In this way, we truly become our Brothers keeper.