Learner

A work in progress.

Some things I learned (confirmed) this week after being humbled by life, death, Mother Nature, and the greatness of my peers that I will file in memory so that I am better next time.

Some of the week’s revelations:

  • Finding the  words to console a woman who returned home from work to find her husband of 30 years dead on the floor is difficult. Have something prepared.  Tell your spouse and kids that you love them every day.  Life is too short.
  • Patience is a virtue.  The bomb squad is on their own schedule; deal with it.  It’s better than getting blown up.
  • Delivering a baby at 0300 in the backseat of a car has a degree of difficulty on par with Olympic gymnastics.  Practice for EMS calls in weird spots.  Paramedics on engines are nice to have.
  • The value of diplomacy, and that (go figure) ICS terminology does not include the word “asshole.”  When passing command at a working fire using the language, “Hey asshole, I’m talking to you!” will snap heads around post haste, but it does not lead to a convivial or smooth transfer of command.  It can lead to fisticuffs and a really good firehouse story.  

Have character, don’t be one.  After almost 15 years on the job I feel like a beginner at times.  I need some more polish.  I’m still working on myself, believe me.  

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2 Comments

  1. Jason,

    We all will continue to grow – if we're honest – as we fumble our way through this dynamic career. I only hope that as a culture we can admit our shortfalls and learn from them. We're getting better, but we have a long way to go in terms of owning up those moments – either as an individual or an organization – when we could have performed at a higher level. It stings to admit that we weren't at our best, but when we do we can begin to breakdown where the breakdown occurred and try to identify the fix. Keep up the great work at Fire Service Warrior and thank you for reading and taking the time to comment.

    Mark