One thing that everyone in the fire service needs is pride, and the best part is… it’s free and it’s inside everyone. Some take pride in their wealth, success, rank, etc. Have you ever walked into a firehouse and seen bare walls and ask yourself why there are no pictures oranything showing the history of the department. There’s a good chance that there is a lack of pride in that station. It is also a slight possibility that the administration or powers that be don’t want things on the walls but I highly doubt it. Pride is all about putting pictures on the wall, whether it is pictures of incidents, events, pictures of personnel or inspirational posters. Another great idea is hanging old department equipment on the walls, find an old pike pole, clean it up, make it look good, and hang it up. Find an old hydrant from your district, paint it up and display it in the corner. If your firehouse has bare walls ask if you can do some research and find some meaningful things to hang on the wall. Take pictures of the crews after calls, trainings and community events.
As firefighters we need to take pride in the job, our equipment, our department and ourselves. If you don’t care what your duty boots look like then I can guarantee that the rest of your uniform reflects your boots. If you don’t take pride in yourself then I bet your apparatus is dirty and not taken care of very welleither. We need to take pride in every aspect of our job even if it doesn’t feel important. We need to take pride in our tools, keep them clean and take care of them. You might not have the newest and greatest equipment, but deal with what you have andtake pride in it. Sharpen your tools, clean the handles and inspect them on a daily basis. Take pride in your hose loads, no matter the time of day or night, rain or shine make sure to rack your lines with pride. If you load your lines sloppy then they will pull sloppy. When it’s time to go to work the last thing you want is a pile of tangled mess in the front lawn. Take pride in your equipment; clean the apparatus at the start and end of shift even if you didn’t turn a wheel. That piece of apparatus is expensive and the way it looks is a direct reflection of your department. Have pride in your station and never bad-mouth your department. Remember that someone in your city, district or town saw something in you and hire you. So take pride and be proud of that.
Pride is contagious. I have seen it happen. I guarantee if you polish your boots before the start of each shift then others will follow suit. If you take care of the equipment and tools others will also. Set an example and see what happens. If you have pride and show it then others around you will want to do the same. If someone doesn’t want to show pride then that’s on him or her, just keep doing what you know is right and never compromise your integrity. It doesn’t matter if you are a volunteer or a career firefighter you should have pride.
P – Professional (Be professional no matter if you are a volunteer or career)
R – Respect (Respect the senior person, yourself, the job, your equipment and your department)
I – Integrity (If you don’t have integrity then you have nothing)
D – Dedication (Be dedicated the job and love it)
E – Example (Be an example to others and your pride will catch on)
Stay safe brothers and sisters. Get your Pride on and be an example to everyone around you.