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Chameleons are a distinctive and highly specialized group of lizards. Some chameleon species are able to change their skin coloration.
Different chameleon species are able to vary their coloration and pattern through combinations of pink, blue, red, orange, green, black, brown, light blue, yellow, turquoise, and purple. Color change in chameleons has functions in social signaling. The relative importance of these functions varies with the circumstances, as well as the species. Color change signals a chameleon's physiological condition and intentions to other chameleons.

Firefighter, officers and chief officers are a highly specialized group of people who complete extraordinary tasks to save lives and property each and every day.

We all know firefighters who resemble the Chameleon. The members of the fire service who change his or her opinion based on the social setting or circumstances.

Chameleons have a unique ability to blend in and camouflage themselves. They also also been known to lurk behind the keyboard Monday morning quarter backing other department or members of your department. This criticism is not to learn from but instead to “stir the pot”.

Officers who resemble chameleons can destroy a company or in smaller departments inflict damage on the entire department. As an officer there is no room for you to blend in. You must “Step Up and Lead” and at times that means you will need to make an unpopular decision. As an officer everyone will not always agree with you. This is something that many officers struggle with especially those newly promoted officers who are trying to gain respect. Respect is earned through making the right decisions not the popular decisions.

We all have opinions and will not always agree with everyone! If you are trying to blend in and agree with those around you need to re-evaluate who you are. The fire service needs motivated thinkers who are not afraid to step up and disagree when the timing is right. We need to appropriately and respectfully debate with an open mind the current issues within our firehouses and the fire service.

The fire service has no room for any chameleons.

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Comment by Mark Cummins on February 14, 2014 at 10:19am

Well said P.J.  we all need to have the same goal to do our job with the latest and best information possible. We need good leaders not camouflaged chameleons.

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