Over the past several weeks I have had the opportunity to speak with numerous firefighters from across the U.S. In some of those conversations, one word has resonated with several of those conversations…PASSION.
I think if I had to give one word that separates us from MOST other professions/trades the answer would be just that…PASSION. Sure, others have passion…but passion is what drives everything about firefighting. It is the core and there are so many other things within firefighting that we are passionate about. If we weren’t, we wouldn’t do it.
Then I looked at the exact definition(s) of passion on Merriam-Webster online…I think I am right on this one!
: a strong feeling of enthusiasm or excitement for something or about doing something
: a strong feeling (such as anger) that causes you to act in a dangerous way
: a strong sexual or romantic feeling for someone
Read over that and think about it…
Notice I didn’t just pick one of the definitions…I chose them all because they are all correct. Firefighters are a passionate group of men and women who LOVE what they do…and yes, that passion can overflow into anger sometimes. That is the part that we could do without.
Passion is what drove us to the fire service. Passion is what makes us do the very best. Passion is what separates the good from the great!
Even so, our passion for the fire service is just the beginning. As firefighters, many of us are more passionate about certain things within the fire service. That is what makes us great team members.
If it is passion that separates us from many others, why is it that some of us try to destroy others passion instead of allowing it to create something bigger…something better…Maybe even bring back that Brotherhood that some think is lost.
We are much better off cultivating passion within the fire service and leaving our egos at home. Subsequently, if you follow that advice, you will be much better off at home if you lose the ego all together.
- Find or realize your passion within the fire service and utilize it to improve the fire service
- Pay attention to other firefighters passion and show positive support
- Listen to others when they speak, ask them questions…you will find out what their passions are
More importantly, if you are in the position of authority, a leader, or even a manager…pay close attention to your subordinates passions and help them be a positive impact on the fire service!