Firefighters are very passionate people. We are passionate about many things…Firefighting being one of them. Family, Faith, and Service being others.
Most of the firefighters I have been around, in my career and previously volunteering, have vowed a lifelong journey in the fire service. The years we give to the fire service are some of the best years of our lives. Many of us will figure out that you will get out of it what you put into it…and as the age old adage goes…leave it better than you found it.
We all have our passion within the fire service. Whether it is fire prevention, pumping, HTR, HAZMAT, EMS, or other specialty many of us focus on something we know we can succeed in knowing better or making better.
Whatever that niche within the fire service you are interested in or inclined to be around more….do it. Aim to leave a mark within the fire service.
That doesn’t mean you will…and you shouldn’t be doing it for yourself. However, if you aim for it, you just never know…you might actually leave the fire service better than you found it…during your lifetime or after.
Listen to your gut, be instinctual, learn from others, lean on your mentors, and don’t put clout in the thoughts of those who do not matter.
Focusing on past failures is regret. Learning from those failures is knowledge. Not making the same mistakes twice is experience. Helping others so they won’t make the same mistakes is leadership.
I’m 17 years into a 25 year career. I’m at the point where I am examining the last 8 years and how I want them to play out. I have plenty of tattoos from the past. Some earned, others given to me. I cannot control perception…as I teach in social media class that perception is reality to others. I can focus on doing right by me, my virtues, morals, and ethics.
As Captain Wines will say often…I’m not sure where we are going, but we’re making good time!
See you on the big one!