Fire Bloggers Weigh in on The Brotherhood, Commitment to the Fire Service, and the Chicken vs. the Pig

A blog post struck a nerve with me the other day. Lt. Lemon wrote about the B word…Brotherhood at The title of the post is “The Brotherhood is a Lie” It was a very interesting read. Enough to piss you off if you don’t understand it.

What ensued was a multitude of comments on the post. There are 34 comments as of this writing. I suggest you read it!

The discussion within the post mentioned above and the ones linked to below include some great articles about Brotherhood and commitment. Some are very committed, others understand the need for improvement. That is where I am at…I have room for improvement. I should train more, train harder, and commit to working out more (although I am running my first 5k tomorrow). Of all people, I am one of those guys who HAS to put my money where my mouth is. I am getting there…I draw a lot of inspiration from The Fire Service Warrior Chris Brennan (he is a machine) and Brian Brush. I should talk to Brian more…Twice now he has said exactly what I need to hear, but I need to hear it more. Either I like being called a pussy, or it is that kind of motivation I need!

I am not going to write a long article of what I think “Brotherhood” means to me. I just have a few remarks and then I have links to other great articles from other bloggers about the Brotherhood and the fire service (some are new and others are older posts). Each of these posts has something in common…what do you think it is?

The title of this article, “It’s Brotherhood…Not BestFriendShipHood” is basically my explanation of it (and yes, in my world brotherhood includes sister firefighters). You don’t have to like all of your brothers. You don’t have to get along with all of your brothers. They don’t have to like you either. Brotherhood means that when in need, you will leave your ego in your pocket and do what needs to be done…whatever that means.

Here are some other great articles:

The Brotherhood is a Lie – Lt. Lemon at

What happened to brotherhood? It doesn’t exist…it is a lie. At least, the “brotherhood” of which this comment speaks is a lie. It seems to be increasingly common for newer members of the fire service to EXPECT the brotherhood. They believe that as soon as they get some bunker gear, they are a solid link in the chain of fire service brethren…and that this link can never be severed. Nope. Sorry, it doesn’t work that way. 

What are you going to do? – Chris Brennan at The Fire Service Warrior

So, here is where I wrap this rambling mess together. What are you going to do? Are you going to walk the walk or are your going to talk? Are you going to be ready for the Battle that Taj wrote about and for that moment when one of “THEM” need you? How are you going to get there? Are you in the Gym, are you studying, are you preparing yourself? No one else will do it for you. No municipal agency, association, or union will ever demand that you push yourself to YOUR limits of excellence. Only you can do that.

Compounding Interest – Brian Brush at The Fire Service Warrior

If you have been debating a move or you have been sitting on the sidelines of the conversation for awhile my advice to you is Jump In! The “capital” that is your experience, ideas, opinions and beliefs will only grow by what you are stashing under that heavy mattress of department culture and fear of rejection. Try making a small investment in yourself with the free market that is the American Fire Service (NYSE) and the Social/Blog network (NASDAQ) and I believe you will find a huge payoff through compounding interest. The return I have seen in support, resources, friendships and opportunity is beyond what I ever imagined would have been my potential.I am better for taking risk, I am getting better because of the risks of others.

The Battle – Taj Meyers at QueenCityBurns

My hose line pushes me back as I make my attack on the monster. The forces I’m facing are great but I am greater. Not because I am strong but because my brother,behind me, gives me all the strength I lack. This unspoken synchronicity is attributed to hours of practice, sometimes late into the night. Practicing, while girlfriends’ calls went straight to voicemail, while turkey and avocado omelets (instead of pizza) went cold on the dining room table, while great sports games aired on tv, we were on the apron, we were in the engine bay, practicing.

Uh oh. Here we go with the B word again – Jason Jefferies at Working The Job

Once more, I’m not against calling another fireman brother, or being called the same by another.  But, just because we see one another in the mall and we both have a t-shirt emblazoned with the Maltese cross on it does not mean you are my brother.  Brotherhood has nothing to do with working the same job, being members of the same department or even riding the same company.  This may seem shocking to you, but not all firemen are the philanthropic, generous, heroic types that romance novels and cheesy movies portray.  Most are great guys, but there are a few that are dirty rotten bastards that will cut your throat (metaphorically) to advance their position.  That’s why I don’t throw around the B word.  And I urge you to do the same.  Take ownership of it, and when someone deserves it, use it.  Just not ALL the time!

Brotherhood… on a soapbox… – Gary at Coffee talk around the tailboard

If you aren’t smart enough to know the job and its dangers… to recognize the importance of each man and the bond and oath he’s taken… to prepare every day for the inevitable battle that is always coming… then this is your wake up call. You are weak. You are unskilled. You are unsafe to stand next to in battle. We don’t want you. We don’t need you. We don’t like you. Because you are no Brother to us at all. You are the enemy.

Involved vs. Committed – Jason Jefferies at Working The Job

I’ll leave you with this. If you see room to improve your level of committment, then do it.  Just know that by being one of the few that is honestly committed to this job you will never walk the easy path.  Commitment is tough, just ask the pig.

What is the Brotherhood among Firefighters? – Rhett Fleitz at The Fire Critic

If you were to take a firefighter and strip them of their badge, remove their turnout gear, peel their skin back, and remove the organs, the brotherhood is that small fire that continues to burn inside of them.

Not that my writing belongs in the same list as these others, it was an article I wrote about what I felt about brotherhood.