Do you look forward to going to work or do you have to force yourself to go? Are you actively engaged in your career or are you more of an observer doing the bare minimum to get a paycheck? In the fire service, that person is described as the four-day/payday firefighter. What about you, are you passionate about your career?
There is more than one meaning for passionate including “easily aroused to anger” and “affected with sexual desire.” However, in the context of this article I am referring to “capable of, affected by, or expressing intense feeling; enthusiastic.”1 Are you enthusiastic about your career?
I am not referring to a “zippity do-da” enthusiasm, characterized by unrealistic, pie in the sky expectations. The passion and enthusiasm I’m writing about is characterized by an intense desire to serve others, while demonstrating proficiency, efficiency, and professionalism on the job. An enthusiasm for your career in the fire service that is shown in the way you wear your uniform, and how the station and apparatus is maintained.
For the firefighters who are reading this, do you remember your first ride on a fire engine? I’m sure that you remember your first call and your first fire.
My Uncle Cliff belonged to a local civic club called the Ruritan’s, and he was actively involved in planning our town’s annual Memorial Day parade. Additionally, my Aunt Phyllis (Cliff’s wife), worked with a local volunteer firefighter named Frenchie. Uncle Cliff and Frenchie made arrangements for me to ride on the fire engine in the photo when I was three-years old during the parade.
As a three-year-old boy, I still remember a segment of that parade when I was riding on the hose bed of the rig, while the firefighters stood on the tailboard. That day launched my passion for the fire service and a burning desire (no pun intended) to become a firefighter.
Why this story?
I’m writing about my first ride on a fire engine because it spawned a passion inside of me for the fire service. It is also my intent to have you ask yourself whether you have a passion for your career.
My last reason for writing this story is to lay a foundation for rebranding my business. Over the next few weeks, I will build on this story and when I’m through, you will see the passion that I still have for the fire service and my desire to work with and develop fire officers. At the end of this series, I will reveal the new name of my business and the URL of my new website.