Look in the mirror… “Man that guy sucks. Why is he still here?” Ever been part of one of these conversations? I have. Plenty of them. I’ve found myself in them, started them, and not stopped them prior to them getting out of hand. I’d love to say that I’ve been above this my entire career, but I haven’t. I have sat and openly discussed other firefighters faults with other firefighters and then waved as the guy as he walked by. Jacked up, I know.
What’s even more jacked up is this group you are discussing these things with is probably discussing your faults when you walk away. Then when you are left in the group and another guy walks away you discuss his faults and motives behind his career decisions. You think you’re part of a group that has a common interest, and you are, it’s just not bettering the fire service, loyalty or the people on the job that need help.
If you see something wrong with someone, help fix it. Train them and bring them up to where you are. Maybe you are further along, not better. Get ‘em there with yah and stop talking shit behind their back. It’s not effective for anyone. Especially considering you yourself probably have something you need to be working on. Last I checked, there is no perfect firefighter. We all have a lot of growing to do in different areas we can help each other improve on. Come together and work as a team.
You got a guy that’s good at training and a guy that sucks at it, pair them up. You got a guy or girl that is a fitness guru, let them lead fitness in the station. Everyone should be helping each other somehow, someway. Not consistently talking shit about each other to make ourself feel good and hide what we aren’t good at… Look in the mirror the next time you catch yourself wanting to get down on someone. Evaluate what you suck at and lets start working on that before we rip on one of our crew members.
Oh, you need an example? I got one for yah. Early on in my career, I focused hard on job skills and performance. For the most part, I became proficient for where I was in my career. What I did not focus on was not being an asshole all the time and talking to people like they were people, and not all like me. So, I’ve had to work on that part of it and found people that were better at it than me. Trust me, I’m still working on it… Just work at it. If we spent more time fixing our own faults verses talking shit about the faults of other firefighters we’d be part of a salty crew who knows the job inside and out and is good at it.
If you’ve taken the time to read this far, let me say this. This article is not for the paycheck collectors in the departments. They are here for the t-shirt, the fish fry, and the “prestige.” They know who they are and have no intention of getting better. They are place holders. It is best to still help these individuals, and by that I mean help them find a new job at Chic Fil -A or Starbucks. I think you get payed pretty well there now. There they can work without putting peoples lives in jeopardy that are in the fire service for the right reasons.