Change, yup I said the dreaded C word. This simple word with a simple meaning is one of the hardest things to do in life. If you are in the fire service it is even harder. Change in the fire service is one of those taboo processes that just cannot happen, but as a matter of fact the only thing in the fire service that happens more often than a medical run, is change.
When we speak of change the fire service ears perk up and we become a little defensive, why? Lets stop and think about this for a second. Yes, not all things need to change such as honor, loyalty, commitment. These things as a service can never change if they do then we truly lose our identity, but without change where would we be today.
When we think of change what is the first thing that pops in our head “why”? “If its not broke then why fix it”? This may be a true statement, but if our thought process stayed this way, then we would not have all the innovative equipment and tactics that we have today.
Change is a thing that cannot be avoided in the fire service, if we continue to do the same thing over, and over we do build muscle memory, but we also can become stagnate and lose focus.
So if we know that change has to take place, why fight it?
One reason we fight change is fear, the fear of not knowing, because we as firefighters like to have the answers. Lets put this into perspective, imagine that you were on the job and some were, when full turn outs were introduced, what do you think the first thought was? Pretty sure it was I can't feel anything, these are to heavy, useless, and a waste. Fast forward to today, what would happen if the talk was to take full turn outs away? It would be pure pandemonium.
Today’s fire service has to always be evolving, and changing, we have to maintain an open mind if we don't we will be left behind. Change is never easy but it is a process that has to take place not only for us but for the ones that are coming behind us. Think about this, if our children join the fire service and they are using the same tactics to fight fire that we are using today, we should go find them and try to put some common sense into their head, because we know that our tactics of today will not work for them tomorrow.
To sum this up change is not easy, sometimes it is a hard pill to swallow but it is necessary to move forward. Change is something that we should embrace, not fight, because in all honesty change is something we cannot stop.