Station Pride Articles


My entire career has revolved, in my head, around the idea that everything is a competition. From training to on-scene performance. From cooking to washing trucks. From mopping to scrubbing toilets. Everything. This article in fact

was spawned while I was polishing my boots to a level of shine that I haven’t in a very long time because briefly, I had a rookie that is a marine. His presence motivated me to perform better in something simple or minuscule.

Competition can drive a person to falter while trying to hard to perform. While others can and will excel under the added personal stress of performing better than the guy next to him.

Now don’t get me wrong, we don’t compete to belittle or because we dislike the guy next to us. We want them to excel too. Some of us just need that faster runner in the lane next to us to drive us to run faster. Your nozzle work, your saw control or even better, your ax swings can be better by thinking that you in competition. Just like in junkyard dog, your willingness to work compared to the yard breathers will only be as valuable as how well you perform.

How much air you breath out of your bottle compared to your buddy during a working fire can greatly motivate you to get into better shape.

How about as a crew? Can your crew get out of bed, dressed and get in the trucks out of the door faster than another crew? Is the officer dressing out and getting to the truck before you or the rookie? Why? Does the senior man cook a better meal than you? Why? What crew or shift has more quality training time? Why?

Everything, in the fire service, is a competition.

Train, practice, learn, smile and enjoy the greatest gig on earth but use some friendly competition to motivate you and those around you!


About James Cook (32 Articles)
James's great grandfather was a career Firefighter, his grandfather was a firefighter, making his way to fire chief in his home town and taught at Texas A&M fire school for 50 + years. James’s grandfather on his dad’s side was a naval firefighter in the Navy Seabees, James’s father has been a paramedic since 1979, and his mother’s a nurse also. James himself is a career Captain / EMT-I in northwest Texas, and has been in the fire service since Aug/2005. James loves teaching as much as learning the craft.

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