You know I won’t forget when I got my start in the fire service. And that's what this piece is going to be about.
You know when your a brand new fire fighter coming on to the job there are several things that can make or break you. And the two I'm going to talk about are mentors and the need to fit in.
Let’s cover the need to fit in first. Before someone has an MI let me explain. I have seen some new guys and girls come in and they fall in with the “in crowd". Yes it’s important to fit in with your crews you have to be weary of going and falling in with the wrong crowd. Don't be trying to fit in with the ones who are say employees, they are the ones who don't care for training don't have any pride in there company, rather sit around and watch TV than get out and drill to better themselves. That's not who you should strive to be like. Don't be the kind who is there just to collect a paycheck or badge if you’re a volunteer. Get your rear up off the couch and train, drill, STUDY!!!!!!! What's even more to your advantage is the Internet. We have information out the ears on every topic you can think of from ventilation to hose line selection. We have YouTube and helmet cams now on the computer so you can watch a fire that occurred in say California while sitting around your kitchen table in Kentucky. This allows us to see what they get and how they handle it. For instance the way they deal with a balloon frame fire may be different from what your department does it is a great way to learn new things and learn from other people's mistakes. The other deal is, who are the folks you should look to or who should be your mentors. Let me tell you about one of my mentors Captain Eddie Crews from Lexington. Capt Crews is always open to give you a bit of advice but he does it in a way you won’t feel like an idiot if it’s a simple answer. That advice thou does not have to be just about fire behavior or line stretches but also about the issues like career advancements and by showing an interest in your career. Basically he shows you he cares about your career as a firefighter. Folks that’s a mentor nobody has to care about you, and you will find some who don’t care whether you make it as a firefighter or you fail just as long as they collect there check, or badge and light and siren permits. But a mentor wants to help you succeed in your career (be it a paid career or volunteer career) they want to be there to help you with this and help you thru the problems you come across and things that will also save your life in the long run. They don’t have to always belong to your department, yes it helps but it’s not mandatory. There are lots of folks out there who are willing to help you out with your career.
And a big shout out to the new Lexington Fire Department Explorer Post!!! Never forget you to are in the public eye and are a part of the department (you just might not be able to do as much) all of the above applies too you as well. As a former explorer I will tell you I always wanted to be "one of the guys" but just like the new firefighters you got to earn it. SO GET OUT THERE AND EARN THE RESPECT OF THE FIREFIGHTERS SHOW THEM YOU WANT THIS DON'T BE A SLACKER USE THIS AS A STEPPING STONE IN LIFE!!!!!!!!!!!!! In closing I want to leave you young firefighters AND EXPLORERS with this. Train hard, and train often. Train as if your life depends on it. Never ever forget that you represent a brotherhood don’t embarrass it. Don’t be the employee be a firefighter!!! There is more to being a firefighter than crawling down hot smoke filled houses, EMS, making grabs, and busting down doors. Good luck and God bless. And welcome to the greatest calling in the world brothers and sisters...
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if that don't work use this link TRUST ME YOU NEED TO WATCH THIS!!!! Not just you young guys and girls but you seasoned guys and girls as well!