Fire Engineering Training Community

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By Mark vonAppen

Let's be real.  After all, that's what this whole Fully Involved idea is predicated on - honesty and trust. Without it, we have nothing. 

Put it out there where we can't take it back. Stop whispering in the shadows about our way of doing things and get things out in the open.  Shine the light on what works and slam the door - once and for all - on what doesn't. 

What we have fought hard to create has taken root and is reviving moribund cultures all over the country (and the world) by forging an atmosphere of accountability through belief in each other. We've accomplished this with a dogged adherence to our standard.


We must focus on what we can control.  Our standard of performance (The BIG4) is reflected in our homes, in the firehouse, the drill grounds, and on the emergency scene.  How we perform day in, day out, and minute to minute is a reflection of this attitude.

At some point, we have to stop worrying about what people are going to think, do, or say.  When we're doing something significant, detractors don't matter.

We live our lives urgently.  We show up early, listen and learn aggressively, stay late, and we sweat the details.

We display toughness and resilience.  We are always progressing, knowing that there will be stumbles along the way and that we will fall.  The climb up has been slow, and the fall can occur meteorically if we let it.  If we fall, we must always fall forward.  

At some point, we have to stop worrying about what people are going to think, do, or say.  When we're doing something significant, detractors don't matter. We keep going.

Expect success.  Never be surprised by the way things turn out.  We are either preparing to win, or we are preparing to lose.  Either way, we know what the result will be.  


Invest in yourself and in your future.  We can't learn unless we make a lot of mistakes.  The key is to minimize mistakes in order to maximize performance. It's okay to make mistakes, but it's not okay to dwell on them and allow them to define us.  Glean the knowledge, lick your wounds, and move on.  Improve every time.

We don't talk trash.  We speak our truth. Honest self-evaluation and pride in performance are emblematic of our way. We are more than willing to pay the price it takes to maintain our self-respect. 

We have the chance to do what many people think is impossible and have a great time doing it.  We must do our jobs, treat people right, give all out effort, and have an all in attitude.  We have tapped into something that works and we have to stop whispering about it. 

Why should we raise our voices when we speak of our passions?  Because we who invest have the most on the line.  


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Comment by Paul M. Rank on May 15, 2015 at 3:18pm

Awesome!  We shouldn't have to hide what we do, who we are, and what we work for.  Love this!  Thank you!

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