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I am one who has had my share of frustrations with the fire service at times.  There were times that it would have been really easy to sit back and just glide into a recliner and drift away into the land of complacency and doing as little as possible.  

It would have been real easy to become one of those guys that learned all I needed to know at the academy and on the job.  I could have been the one who wears the t-shirts and puts the stickers in the back window of my truck to announce to the world that I 'work' for a fire department.

But, I didn't.  And, most of you didn't.  Why?

We love the job! We truly and unconditionally love the job and profession!

Is it perfect? Nope!  Does it still frustrate me at times? Yep!

But, I committed myself to a profession that I love and will stand by until I'm gone.  Not much different from my family at home.  I married and promised to love her unconditionally, not matter how bad things might get. Through good and bad times, we stick it out. 

My kids frustrate the heck out of me and they at times disappoint me with their actions and some of their decisions.  They can say some pretty hurtful things in anger, not knowing so, even though you're the parent, it stings a little. Not unlike times in the fire service. It will and has disappointed me and will again.  Some in the fire service that I have worked with and some that I haven't have said hurtful things about me and my fire service, but I don't hold it against the job that I love.

The point is this, just because you will have frustrations, disappointments, differences in opinion, or other issues doesn't mean you should stop loving the job.

Loving the job means we answered a calling and do the best we can no matter what. No matter how frustrated you are. No matter how disappointed you get. No matter what differences you may have.  The people that depend on you in your community and those that work with you don't care about those things when it is time to act and perform.

Don't make disappointments, differences, and other outside factors keep you from loving the job and making yourself the best partner you can. Train, learn, educate, share, mentor, and give of yourself to make it better for you and  others.  Keep improving to make sure the citizens you protect get the best every time you roll out the door.

Love the job, not only when it's great, but also when it's tough. Be an unconditional firefighter!

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