My Brothers…. I try to give you something every shift I work. This week I’ve been thinking about MY fire service…. Yeah, it’s mine. I’ve given 15 years of blood, sweat, tears to this great service. It isn’t a job; it isn’t a career. It is who you are; it’s what you think about on your days off. I spend my four days waiting to get back to the station with my friends.
This field is so much more than any other job. There is a place for all of us. You can find your path in any of the multiple services we provide. We provide help. That is the simplest breakdown of what we do. Hazmat, fire, rescue, and EMS; someone has called 911 because the situation is out of their control. You don’t have to love it all, just show me the passion for it.
My fire service is passionate. We don’t have to be dedicated to the same specialty areas, however, as a group, we can answer any call. We speak with excitement about the fire service. We immerse ourselves into our craft. If you are here just to take selfies and tell the girls you’re a fireman, you have failed.
My fire service is prepared. A wise man once said, “We save a life every shift.” Does that mean I am the baddest mother you’ve met, and I happen to work at the busiest station known to man?… No. But every training I perform is what I will fall back on to the day that I need to make that save. We pull lines; we throw ladders; we search. If you don’t give a shit about training, you have failed.
My fire service is strong. Do I work with powerlifting record holders?.. Well yes, but our strength is simpler than that. It’s a simple fact that if I go down inside, I have no question that my guys have the physical ability to get my ass out. If this isn’t the case either, you’re too fat or your crew is too weak. If so, you have failed.
My fire service is a brotherhood. We spend time together. We are defined not as individuals but as a group. On duty, we eat together, train together, spend downtime together. Off duty, we are in constant contact. We know what is going on in each other’s personal lives. If you only are a “shift” when you are at work and don’t have contact with your crew until you come back to the station, you have failed.
If you haven’t failed, thank you. YOU are MY fire service. I hope to meet you sometime in the future. I call you my brothers.
If you have failed, leave. You are a poser in my fire service. These things can’t be taught, and honestly, we will find you sooner than you think. It is unfair that you are filling a position without passion. As you leave, I will give you a plastic helmet, a temporary tattoo, and sticker badge so that you can still take those selfies.