The fire service has a very unique organizational make up. Some are volunteers, some are paid per call and others do it as a career. The general public doesn't really understand our roles, responsibilities and/or traditions. The job attracts a special kind of person who is willing to risk his or her life for others. In doing so, we often attempt to bring stability to a situation that is out of control. We are essentially providing the citizens organized chaos management. In the process of our duties, we can unfortunately transform a priceless thing into a worthless one. Firefighter actions like mishandling a tool, disrespecting a departmental policy, maliciously breaking something in the act or simply not performing the proper cleaning / maintenance on something, and it surely will loose its value. Some see it as a compromise of the moment, the urgency of the emergency, collateral damage of the situation or maybe it is just the lack of seeing the big picture on how difficult it was to obtain, fund or acquire; and it becomes easy to destroy 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 something, and it now becomes worth treasuring. We attach pride to the task and it becomes worth treasuring because you know it might make the difference between life and death. And most importantly, when the brother and sisterhood uses it to connect with each other, we have a hard time imagining how we could ever live without it. TRADITION. So remember to teach the new recruits to do the right thing, assure that the apparatus and equipment are at the ready, and never forget all of the blood, sweat and tears that made your organization what it is today....
Duty, Honor and Respect.... DTRT.
Billy Greenwood; Tap the Box