“JUST A” ????
ATTENTION all firefighters! This is a call to action! What am I ranting about? The realization of your value. That’s what.
Have you ever heard or even worse made the statement “I’m JUST a fireman”, in response to a question regarding one’s
rank or stature within the company or organization? Shame on you! This statement is made with an almost subconscious
denigration. Wake up! You are the marrow in the skeleton of the company! Look up skeleton in the dictionary and two
different definitions stand out. “a SUPPORTING FRAMEWORK, as of a leaf, building, or ship” and “something reduced to
its ESSENTIAL PARTS”. And don’t you forget it! While the officer leads the company and accepts all the accolades for a
job well done, you are the one who makes that happen. Do not underestimate the value of your position. The officer
guides and directs the company but you my brothers and sisters ensure that the compass points true north! This value,
however, is not an automatic. It must be earned. Training, education, and an all-around passion for what you do are the
paths to this increased valuation. Although it is the officer’s duty to ensure competency, you too have equal responsibility
in this requirement. We all define our own roles within the company and the organization and although rank most assuredly
helps it is by no means a prerequisite. If this hasn’t been part of your professional focus then neither should complaining
nor griping about how screwed up things are. It seems a bit hypocritical to me when firefighters begin rattling off a litany of
things wrong with their department without so much as a whisper of any potential solutions. I do not believe you have
earned the right. Reclamation is up to you. You define your role! You set the limit on your appraisal or someone else will!