After working more and more shifts I began to see senior firemen doing all the same checks that I was doing, however going the extra mile to clean the little stuff or train on different circumstances instead of doing just one and just talking about the others or doing all the basic things like extending hose or forcing a basic inward swinging residential door because they knew it was just as important as everything else. I recognized they weren't telling me to take pride in order to make me take pride, they were saying it because that's exactly what they do!
It took me a little while to figure this out and apply it to myself. The first fire I went to was a single story residential structure with a fire in rear bedrooms. The ladder truck I was on was 2nd due and offered the task of venting the roofing. I got hold of the K12 and headed that way. Before I climbed the ladder to the roof I tried to start the saw on the ground, and I tried and I tried and I attempted. Crank after crank it just would not do anything. By this time the fire Chief, the Deputy Chief, and Battalion Chief were all on scene standing in the front lawn viewing me fail over and over once again. Eventually a firefighter from another truck brought me a saw pre-cranked and up I went. It was a definitely wonderful impression to start my career as a firefighter. Thinking about it after I understood that if I had actually taken more pride in my morning check I would have invested a little additional time with that saw in the morning, discovered a concern, and taken care of the saw or taken it out of service. I recognized that taking pride in exactly what I do as a firefighter could save my life, other firefighter’s lives, and victim’s lives. The quantity of pride I take in the fire service will set out my profession and the meaning of my name in my department. I never ever want to be referred to as the fireman that simply coasts by, that doesn't clean, cook, or look after any of the equipment. All that would do is trigger my fellow firefighters to lose regard for me, not want to be around me, work with me, or promote me.
My crew and I finished this task a little after midday, however instead of parking the truck and heading up to consume lunch we put an additional two hours into waxing that bad kid! I liked the feeling after putting the extra time into making the fire truck look it's finest. I liked taking pride in exactly what I was doing!
Pride is vital in the fire service. Take pride in how you do it!