Hooligans, especially our younger or aspiring firefighters, lend me your ear for a moment as I share a little advice. Remember the movie Backdraft? Of course you do, we all do right? The movie gave us so many great lines that we can recite at the right moment when they fit our own situations. â€œYou go, we go!â€, â€œI was up there doing it!â€, or my favorite, â€œItâ€™s John Wayne time, youâ€™re on your own boss!â€Â
But I want you to think of a different scene. Think to the moment where Stephen is sitting on the back step of his ex-wifeâ€™s house drinking a beer by himself. His ex-wife Helen sees him there andâ€¦..
Stephen: I’m sorry, Helen. I just couldn’t sleep.
Helen: Well, what’s wrong?
Stephen: It used to be real clear.
When I was a kid,
what meant most to me about this job was…
Somebody called the fire department, we came. We just showed up.
Some of you seasoned Hooligans may be nodding your head and thinking, â€œyeah, I remember back then.â€ Iâ€™m not talking about the good olâ€™ days or the war years of the leather lungers; Iâ€™m talking about a time in your fire service career where you existed to answer the alarm.
Simple times; you checked your tools, you washed the truck, you did a little training, but your thoughts and actions focused on going on runs. If you are still in that time then cherish it. In this job there can be many forces pulling or pushing you in different directions. Politics, ego, ambitions, selfishness, and greed all creep into the job. Be on guard for such things.
Maintain good communication with your peers, be humble, accept instruction, learn your craft. Be happy to serve others and be eager to fulfill your duties. Donâ€™t get bogged down with â€˜crapâ€™, keep your head straight and your focus on the job.
Brothers and sisters; bring this craft back to our mission. Focus your time and energy in â€˜showing upâ€™ and doing what we do, not on the â€œifsâ€.
(All credit is given to Warner Brothers Studios)