Not a competition…

Not a competition… Let’s get right to it. The fire service is not a competition of who can do it better or what department is better. This is a collective effort to provide the communities we serve in with the best possible outcome during an emergency! I would say we are competitive in nature, but it’s gotten to the point where some days the competition turns into mud slinging. 

There is nothing wrong with taking pride in what you do. Nothing wrong with having a standard, it’s just not a competition of “who has the best standards.” We need to continue to work together as the fire service progresses and stop seeing each other as a threat, problem, competition. You have a standard? Live up to it consistently and maybe people might model it. Barking at people to adopt your method has never really proven popular. 

Standards reflect your inner character and are a direct reflection of your life and how you’ve handled experiences. You can be right or you can be wrong. It’s all in how you handle the two. Both can be handled with arrogance or humility. Its really up to you to choose which you will embrace. 

There is more than one standard in the fire service. There is more than one opinion on leadership, strategy, tactics, promotions and morale issues. Instead of arguing with each other about our opposing views. We could work to understand each other while realizing that our single minded view may be incorrect. It happens. I know it’s hard to believe, but I’ve been wrong on multiple occasions.

While I understand it’s not a competition, I am still sometimes plagued by a competitive nature that thinks “I am right.” I am not right all the time. It’s not about being right all the time. So, I say what I gotta say hoping others will embrace and relate to my opinion or thought. Right? I don’t know. Is that what’s it’s really about? Being right? 

It’s not a competition for the best opinion, correct knowledge, or a popularity contest. Influence those you are privileged to lead. Reach the people in your niche, and work in community with other fire service members to move this craft forward. 

At the end of the day we are here to serve a community of people who need us. We are not special, we are servants of the public who need to see themselves as such. While I believe what we do is important, I do not believe it entitles me to special treatment. Stop competing for attention, build community, move forward. We can do this as a team! 

Josh Chase 

Published by Joshua S. Chase

My mission is to strengthen, encourage, and empower others.

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