Tools

By Mark vonAppen

Everyone loves to reach into a cabinet and find a sharp axe or a well tuned halligan bar, but what about our most important tools, our people?  Who bears the responsibility to keep them sharp; to knock the rust off of them from time to time?  

We all do. 

Make no mistake, there will be times when everyone on the fire ground will need to go to work.  I call it the “next man up” principle.  We never know when our time will come, only that it will so we must be ready at all times.    

Accountability comes from looking out for one another and through a belief that we must stay sharp in order to live up to our responsibility to each other and to the community that we serve. We need people who can walk and chew gum at the same time.  It is a constant process of grinding and polishing to maintain a sense of urgency and purpose.

The most important tools to keep sharp don’t come in a box or ride in a cabinet, they wear seat belts.

Without functionally intelligent, capable, flesh and blood tools on the fire ground, our tools of steel are rendered all but useless.  We must invest in the best tools that we have, our people. When you look back at all of the successful and edgy flesh and blood tools that you helped create, you can breathe a little easier knowing that you did your part to pay it forward.  

Push limits.  The war on complacency will be won by people, not by machines.  The most important tools to keep sharp don’t come in a box or ride in a cabinet, they wear seat belts.

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