The fire service has a very unique organizational make up. Some of us are volunteers, some are paid per call and others do this as a career. The general public doesn't really understand our roles, responsibilities or traditions. The job of a firefighter attracts a special kind of person who is willing to risk his or her life for others. In doing so, we often attempt to respond to a scene and bring stability to a situation that is out of control.
We are essentially providing the citizens of our communities, organized chaos management. In the process of these duties, we can unfortunately transform a priceless object into a worthless one. Firefighter actions like mishandling a tool, disrespecting a departmental policy, maliciously breaking something or simply not performing the proper cleaning and maintenance on an expensive piece of equipment will surely loose its value. Some I know see it as a compromise of the moment or "collateral damage". Without seeing the big picture on how difficult it is for administration to obtain funding or acquire that piece of equipment; it can become easy to destroy or de-value things we see as priceless.
But the fire service can also transform what the public sees as worthless into things that are valuable beyond measure. We do this by attaching memories to an experience and it now becomes worth treasuring. We often attach pride and ownership to the these difficult tasks or functions and it becomes worth treasuring because we know it makes a difference between life and death.
But more importantly, when the brotherhood and sisterhood uses it to connect with each other, we have a hard time imagining how we could ever live without it. TRADITION needs to remain alive. So remember to teach the new recruits to do the right thing, assure that the apparatus and equipment are standing at the ready and never forget all of the blood, sweat and tears that made your fire service organization what it is today....
Stay Safe Brothers. DTRT. Billy Greenwood; Tap the Box