"There is a difference between interstest and commitment. When you're interested in something, you do it only when it's convenient. When you're committed to something, you accept no excuses, only results." - Ken Blanchard
As a young man I was very interested in girls. Then I decided to marry one and soon discovered I had better have a little more than just an "Interest". It took full on commitment: she did not accept excuses, and I was forever trying to get her the results she expected from me. Apparently it paid off as I am happy to say this December we will be celebrating our 34th Anniversary together. No it was not easy and there have been many bumps in the road, pitfalls, and detours but because of the commitment to each other it has culminated in a wonderful relationship that has stood the test of time as well as producing four sons and now a granddaughter. And so it is with our profession. "I had always had an interest in becoming a firefighter since I was young. But once the job became mine I realized that getting the T-Shirt and the badge was only the beginning. That path over the next 35 years would be just like the one I walked with my wife: Strewn with pitfalls, detours, and bumps in the road that I found out rather quickly could not be overcome simply by being "interested" but by committing myself to doing those things I needed to do, even the things that would sometimes not be what I really wanted to do but what I realized was necessary in order to succeed. And as I have progressed through my career, I have seen those in our service who were just "interested" in the job. Those whose idea of serving was to come to the station, put in their time, and go home. I remember once going to a very slow station on a fill in and asking what we were doing for the day. The Captain informed me that "Here we eat until we are sleepy and then sleep until we are hungry." I was quite perplexed to say the least as the house I was stationed in at the time had a Captain whose day revolved around ensuring we were training, studying, or reviewing SOP's in order to function at a high level and work together seamlessly as a crew. I realized that to make this a career, I would need to be committed, not just interested. I knew if I wanted this job and to better myself I would need to commit to more than just showing up and collecting a paycheck. Today I look at the firefighters who staff our department and sadly it is often very easy to pick out those who are "interested" and those who are "committed." Thankfully, there is an abundance of the latter, and only a few of the former but it is troubling that there are any. In my position I continually hold up those committed to the job as examples and encourage them every chance I get. I continually look for motivators here on FE and other places to pass on to fire up those merely "interested." One in particular is a regular blogger on here. A former NFR brother and friend, Jarrod Sergi. Jarrod is probably one of the most "Committed" fire officers I know, and to see him sharing and encouraging, teaching, and motivating others is inspiring to me and helps to keep my commitment level where it needs to be. When he speaks of those who trained and motivated him I know those he speaks of personally, and I also know their committment to this profession of ours and their desire to make sure those coming up under them are trained to take their place when they move on in order to keep the department always prepared. And now he is out there doing the same for his crew and being "committed." So which are you? Interested or committed? If you are the former then you need to find someone like my friend Jarrod and start walking the walk. Do it for you, your family, your crew, and your community. You owe it to all of them. If you are the latter then by all means keep doing what you are doing! Keep sharing and encouraging those around you! Let them see what it is to be committed to something bigger than ourselves.
Stay safe Brothers and Sisters.