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Next week, I, along with over 30,000 firefighters will make the annual journey to Indianapolis to “re-charge our batteries”.  We do this by surrounding ourselves with like-minded, passionate people and by learning from some of the greatest minds in the fire service.  An entire year of policy, politics and being around certain PEOPLE can be emotionally draining.  What if all of those things were actually in place in order to keep us sharp?  A story I recently heard makes a great case for this.


“A number of years back the codfish industry on the northeast coast of the US had a problem. The fresher the fish the better they tasted. So how could they keep the codfish fresh while they transported them across the country? When they froze the fish they lost too much flavor. When they transported them live in tanks filled with saltwater the fish got soft and mushy.  Finally they found a solution. They placed catfish in the tanks. Catfish are a natural enemy of codfish, so the catfish would chase them around the tanks all the time they were being transported. The cod now arrived in better condition than ever. “

Fast forward to next week.  As we sit in class we say to ourselves “if only this guy could hear this then he’d understand”.  Or as we enjoy the fellowship each evening we tell ourselves “if they could only see this, that the brotherhood is still alive.  Then they’d stop mocking it.” 

We all have catfish.  They frustrate us, but they also force us to be better.  They push us to seek out other passionate like-minded people.  Next week at FDIC you will be around those like-minded people, the Rogues.  Go out and introduce yourself to those great people, network with them, share stories, share ideas, help each other solve some of each other’s problems. Don’t dwell on the catfish because you are not going to change them all. Put the catfish and their purpose in our life in perspective.... they are keeping us from getting mushy.

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Comment by Grant Schwalbe on April 6, 2014 at 6:20am
Just so it's all clear, this does not come from a position of superiority. We must also realize that we are the "catfish" to others as well.
Comment by Grant Schwalbe on April 5, 2014 at 7:10pm
Thanks guys..see you all there!
Comment by Skip Coleman on April 5, 2014 at 4:36pm
Excellent post. Please call me when you are there next week brother. Can't wait to "swim in use tank" with ya for a while.
Comment by Robert Owens on April 4, 2014 at 2:08pm


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