Friday, August 2, 2013

Pride and Ownership

Every now and then you hear people talk about pride and ownership. This can be pride in your possessions, your work, your hobbies, or their families. Ownership plays into that because if you own it you should be proud or have pride in what you have. Fire Department use this term as well. It usually involves their members and the way they treat the equipment and apparatus.

Taking pride and ownership around the station can be as simple as washing the truck after you use it. Making sure that all the equipment is cleaned and ready for the next call would be another way. But yet we all need those constant reminders that we need to put fuel in the truck, make sure equipment is put back in working order, airpacks are filled, water put back into the tank, and medic supplies restocked after a medic run just to list a few. If you don't do that, does it mean that you don't have pride in what you do? Probably not, unless it continues. But how many times do you have to be reminded to do the simple things? At some point someone needs to take ownership for what they have or have not done. Our customers depend on us to respond in their time of need. How can we do that if the apparatus was not properly taken care of after the previous response? What would be even worse is that response coming days after the last run that apparatus went out on and nobody had checked it since then. Whether we label ourselves volunteer, paid on call, or full time, we all do the same job with the same goal, to serve the public.

It is easy to make excuses for why it was not done. We have all used one or two excuses at some point in time but just taking those few extra moments to make sure that the job is done right is becoming extremely important. We need to take pride in our equipment and apparatus. Again, it is as easy as washing the truck when it needs it. We need to take ownership and pride in the apparatus that the community is providing for us. They expect us to be ready to respond when they call and we should expect ourselves to have everything in working order after we are done with our call. When something gets damaged or needs repair, report it and let the officer(s) know about it. If apparatus is damaged, let it be known. Some people might blow it off and think it was no big deal, WRONG! It is a big deal. We are not taking pride nor ownership by letting them think that way. It would be no different than say I take your car out and get in a wreck and then give you back your keys and say "oops! I damaged your car. Sorry!" and then walk away. So why do we think it is ok when we damage apparatus and think it is still taking pride and ownership in belongings. It is not.

Pride and ownership is shown by people in different ways. The end result is a better department because the people care about the job they are doing and the equipment provided to them. Apparatus is ready for the next call because it was properly taken care of after the previous call.

Monday, May 20, 2013


Again, it has been a while since I posted anything. The last time I posted was after the tragedy in Lake City and encouraging people to check their smoke detectors and replacing the batteries at least once a year. It is still important to continue to make sure that you have working detectors and that you have had changed your batteries.

Now the fire news is been more with the fire service experiencing Line Of Duty Deaths (LODD). The West Texas fire department experienced a significant loss of life with the explosion. One of the people killed was also on the Dallas Fire Department. Then two days ago Phoenix Fire Department lost a member in a fire. Now this morning the eyes are back in Texas and the Dallas Fire Department as they had a member killed in a condo fire.

Then locally we had a near miss reported a few days ago when we had a few people partially fall through the floor in a house fire. Fortunately everyone was alright and were able to walk away.

What lessons can we learn from these tragedies and near misses? It is our job to learn from the past and make improvements for the future. We look at a house fire where a civilian dies and say check your smoke detector and change your batteries. But yet when a fire fighter dies, we express our condolences and most do nothing. Lets make the change and start to focus more on how we can be more aware of our situation.

Training clip