Pride, the first word of the title to me personally means taking stock in your own core system of values. When translated from Chief Lasky’s book the following subjects are quite apparent.To begin when you have pride in yourself and in your job the attitude you will portray to others is one of positivity, dedication and perseverance.Attitude is paramount and the only thing in life you have complete control over no matter what the circumstances so keep it positive and reap the rewards from it.To be proud of your fire department means you put stock and value in your coworkers your equipment and the direction your department is heading. One should remember to be part of the solution and not part of the problem. We are a family here in the fire service so pay attention to your fellow firefighters.
When someone needs a hand with anything, give it to them and not just gossip at the firehouse dinner table. Also which must be mentioned is take care of your family at home. They are the ones patiently waiting and worrying about you when you are on the job. Your spouse and family will be the ones with you through this career and after it is completed. Never forget that. Make quality time for them as well! Be proud of the job you do. Firefighters have a long and rich history with should be shared with the public and new firefighters.Being proud of your job also means being proud of the tasks we preform. Gone are the days of sitting around the firehouse waiting for a fire. Today we are an all hazardous response model that the public puts an infinite amount of trust in. Be aware as a firefighter our job now entails everything from the obvious mission of fire suppression to the varied responsibilities of fire prevention, EMS, Hazardous materials response and any type of rescue scenario you can imagine.
So educate and prepare yourself, you never know what they day holds in store for us. We are called on to be a jack of all trades and a master of them all as Chief Lasky says. Remember we are called on the publics worst days and they expect us to come up with a solution no matter the issue.1Ownership, the second half of the title of this book also bears many important points as Chief Lasky points out.Put simply have ownership of your job and yourself.What does that mean you ask? Having ownership of your job and yourself means everything from staying in shape so you can perform the duties of a firefighter to taking classes to educate and prepare your self for advancement and promotion to being a mentor Co those below you who aspire to your current position. As Chief lasky states each generation complains about the one coming up behind it, just as in the fire service, senior firefighters griping about new personnel being lazy, unkempt and unaware of our rich history.
The solution is simple, be the mentor. Give new people the tools they need to be the firefighter you expect them to be. Show them the way. Educate them on the past so they do not repeat the mistakes we made, be it in labor relations or what we did on calls for service. You do not have to have a position of rank to be a leader in the fire service. Be the go to guy in a specific area of our job. There will always be a time when your specific focused expertise will be of great value. When you make that jump to being a leader of rank do it for the right reasons.Take an Inventory of your strengths and weaknesses, be very honest with yourself.Ask yourself why you seek promotion. Is it for the money? The title? or is it to be a leader in your profession. To quote Chief Lasky, leaders promote values managers have to enforce rules. Be someone firefighters want to follow. Aways do the right thing and follow the three c’s consistency, competence and compassion. YVith these traits you will be seen as a leader not a manager.Any officer will tell you sometimes bugles are for giving orders and other times they are funnels…there will be good days and bad. Stop and smell the roses. Recognize your accomplishments and learn from your failures.So in closing it must be said that that being in the Fire Service is a privilege and still the greatest profession in the world. Be proud of what you do and the high esteem that the public holds us. Always do the right thing and do not tarnish our rich history.
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