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     Its easy to pass the buck.  Many in our society deflect responsibility as often as possible to avoid having to answer directly for their actions, or lack thereof.  In the fire service passing the buck can be game with deadly consequences.  When we assume any role in the fire service we must be prepared to shoulder the responsibilities associated with our job.  These responsibilities involve obligations to ourselves, our families, our subordinates and superiors, our organization, the general public, and the entire fire service community. 

     While the list of people and organizations we are obliged to may be long, we can successfully meet our obligations by first being responsible to ourselves.  As firefighters are we physically and mentally prepared to  face the challenges that may be presented at any incident?  What have we done today to better ourselves, our organization and the fire service as a whole?  Whether we stretch hose and raise ladders, command a company, battalion, or an entire fire department we owe our families our best effort to be sure we return home safely to them at the end of a shift.  Additionally, our fellow firefighters deserve to work along side the best prepared brothers and sisters to enhance their safety and well-being.  The organization that we represent deserves to have its best traditions upheld each day by every member regardless of rank or position.  Those we are charged with protecting should be able to go about their activities secure in the knowledge that they are protected by the most highly capable and motivated fire department possible.  Embrace your responsibility.  Actively manage ways to hold yourself accountable.  Continue to learn, develop skills and protect the mission of the fire service in whatever position you occupy.  Firefighters, hone the skills of your craft.  Instructors, learn and impart the best available curriculum.  Chiefs, lead by example and learn from your peers, and even your subordinates.  

     Accepting the aforementioned self-responsibility empowers us to cultivate our capabilities daily and improve the effectiveness and efficiency of our organization and enhance the reputation and agenda of the entire fire service.  In the team oriented world of firefighting each member acting responsibly and for the good of the mission will enhance all of us! 

     I am responsible for me, you, and all of us collectively.  Are you responsible ? 


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