Station Pride, Finding Identity and Ownership
Belonging to a military family and coaching youth sports, there is an undeniable similarity that I have witnessed firsthand from both the brave soldiers and strong athletes that I have had the privilege of meeting. Each has expressed a great deal of pride and ownership within their groups (units and teams) and strived to represent their individual organizations to the best of their abilities.
Often pride, ownership, and identity is gained through the development and implementation of a motto and logo that is warn on their uniforms, hung in their locker rooms, and chanted as they take the field.
This concept holds true in the fire service as well and can be seen across the country with departments that display their company pride with unique patches, apparatus logos, slogans, and even challenge coins. If you desire for your department to establish and build pride, it starts with gaining an identity. Creating an identity for each individual house, apparatus assignment, or shift starts the process of working towards pride and ownership.
When a firefighter identifies with and belongs to a specific group, he or she is more likely to put forth a greater effort with aspects of their job functions such as uniforms and appearance, apparatus maintenance, training, and firehouse cleaning.
Being a part of something bigger leads to motivation driven by pride. When you respond to an incident and arrive with your logo and motto displayed with pride on your rig and all riding dismount the apparatus with gear and tools and a determined mindset, your pride will be displayed in your performance on the fireground.
No one remembers the team that took the field in mismatched uniforms that played poorly on the grid iron, they remember those who looked and played as a unit, one team, pumped with pride, and having everyone in the stands on their feet. Gaining overall pride amongst the rank and file within your department is a great progressive movement forward towards overall department excellence.
"Non Sibi Sed Omnibus - Not for Self, But For All"
AB Turenne is a 21-year veteran of the fire service in Eastern Connecticut. As a Certified Level II Fire Service Instructor, AB's training curriculum has proven to be conducive with the operational needs of those he teaches and in turn has improved the human capital knowledge of many. A graduate from the Masters of Public Administration program at Anna Maria College, AB has continued his efforts in training and education by contributing to the Fire Engineering Training Community.