I am off today. I am thankful for that. I am actually on a four day break beginning this morning. I love having holidays off, especially when they fall during my four day breaks. I am not trying to rub it in to all of you who are working today, we all have our turns working holidays. This year, I actually get Christmas off too…1st day of the four day break then too. This Thanksgiving, my family is heading to Mt. Juliet, TN to spend it with my parents, sisters, brother and their families.
However, I also enjoy working holidays…err, I should say I make the best of them. While I would much rather be off, our profession (for those paid guys out there) enables us to enjoy holidays with our "other family". Even better than that, some of us make the best of it by having our families to the firehouse for special meals on holidays with our "other family" and their families too.
To all of you working today, the paid-on-call firefighters, and volunteers who might end up missing family time due to running calls…Thanks for your service. We all have to work some holidays time to time. I hope this one is a Q#$%& one for you.
I have a lot to be thankful for this year.
I continue to learn how to juggle the increase in popularity of FireCritic.com with the needs of my family and I even squeeze in some fun non-fire related time for myself.
Each year at this time, I sit back and reflect at the things I have done, the places I have been, and the people I have met. Each year it gets better and better. FCIC, Expo, speaking engagements, other travel I fit in…they all make for a great time. I have heard more than once that Captain Wines and I should have a TV show about our travels. I think it would make for some decent entertainment. Much like the way we look at what we do, the show would be about the great firefighters we meet along the way and not so much about us.
If we have crossed your path this year, or a year in the past, we appreciate the fellowship. We drank more than our fair share of pints with others. Some of the guys who really stick out from this past year are the Clark County Brothers, Central VA Brothers, Northern Ohio Brothers, Tennessee Brothers, Capital Region FOOLS, and of course the Kalamazoo Brothers who we will be speaking with in late January. There are simply too many to name, but as I type this those are the ones who came to mind.
This next year, we are really looking forward to the FDIC meet-up. Last year we had a blast. This year is going to put it to shame. We already have a bunch of companies and organizations wanting to get in on the fun.
Another thing I am thankful for is the popularity of The Fire Critic Facebook page. If you haven't been paying attention, I have been getting caught up on "Mutual Aid Questions From Brothers". Occasionally I get feedback on some of the question and how detailed, mundane, or sad some of the questions are. I publish about 95% of the questions I get. I do this because firefighters are looking for answers, and the community is happy to help.
I think the Questions serve as a perfect insight into what firefighters are dealing with from all kinds of fire departments. If I have learned anything, it is this…
- There is need for reform in A LOT of fire departments out there.
- There is need for leadership classes everywhere.
- Leaders need to stand up and lead.
Most importantly, we are on the right track. As long as firefighters are willing to seek help with their issues, we have fire departments worth fighting for. As long as they seek improvement, we have a service worth making better.
I am thankful for that.
God Bless you, your crews, and your families.
I love being a firefighter and I am thankful for the opportunity to serve.