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This photo is actually of a poster that I saw in the middle school while on a fire alarm. These posters hang throughout the entire school. It is simple, but it says a lot. This post is simple and short. It's not a motivational speech about being a 212 degree firefighter but reminder not to give up and cool off to 211 degrees. It is about the importance of the single degree. When a person walks into a kitchen they notice the pot of boiling water on the stove before they notice the glass of water sitting on the counter. Teaching all over I talk to so many people who were 212 degree firefighters and are now 211 degree firefighters. They love the job but have lost the motivation to stay boiling. Most felt abandoned and alone while being a 212 degree firefighter. They were worn out from being outside checking off the rigs while everyone else was eating breakfast or circumstance that were out of their control, like an unwanted transfer, has got them down. I am here to tell you, don't get down. Don't let your water stop heating at 211 degrees. 212 degrees gets noticed. Maybe not right away, but eventually it does. It might not be the "change the entire crew" moment you want, but it is going to happen. It usually comes in the form of small, but important things that you may mistake for a nuisance. Remember there are plenty of 211 degree firefighters out there who can handle most tasks, but its the 212 degree firefighter who is going to get the important ones. Whether on a scene when you're given a specific, critical task that needs to happen or when you're given extra project to take on. You might think of these extra projects as punishment or extra work despite all the "extra stuff" you already do. What it probably actually is, is that the officer has realized you're a 212 degree firefighter and they can count on you to get it done to the 212th degree. My message is simple,stay positive and realize when you're feeling worn out, you only need that extra one degree to make the world of a difference. 

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Comment by David Topczynski on January 27, 2016 at 7:53pm
Awesome! Thank you, I'll pass it onto our training chiefs for our officer's academy.
Comment by Sam Parker on January 27, 2016 at 7:08am

Thanks for sharing the 212 message, David! I love hearing how you learned about it. We have hundreds of two-twelving schools across the U.S.

You can watch the 212 video and learn about the book by visiting our site at

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