In With The New

It really recharges the batteries to see the new recruits coming in from the academy.

I had the opportunity to attend the graduation of our newest recruits the other day.† Unfortunately, given my schedule, I donít get a chance to do this like I would like to, but the staffing permitted it so I took advantage of that.† Having been doing this job for a total of 31 years, I think it recharges the olí batteries to go back to those things you found important in the beginning, and remind yourself why you got into this in the first place.† Nothing can really take the place of being a newly minted firefighter, not having any idea what your career will be like ahead of you.† While I knew from the beginning that I wanted to become a chief officer someday, I had absolutely no idea how amazing and fulfilling the trip between here and there would be.

The job is what you make of it.† If you just want to punch the clock and fill a spot, thereís those who do that and coast right on through to retirement under the radar and unscathed.† But if you want to be successful and make a positive mark on your community as well as with your family and friends, the fire service provides many opportunities to do that.† The catch is that you, as an individual, must actively seek those opportunities and run with them.

I have had very few of my opportunities handed to me and a fair share of them I had to show that I was willing to fight for them.† But in the long view of it, those battles and all the studying and planning, they all make this journey worthwhile.† If it was just handed to me, I donít think I would value what I have been through so much (although it certainly would have been more pleasant at times). †I say to my charges on a regular basis, ďDonít raise your voice unless you are willing to raise your fists.Ē† The takeaway on that is that if you arenít willing to do something about your condition, then donít complain about the situation. †There are plenty of times I have fought and lost, and plenty of times I have fought and won.† But regardless of the outcome, Iím pretty sure my co-workers would agree with me, I have always been willing to take action to back up what I was saying.

There is a difference between living and surviving.† Anyone who can fog a mirror can survive.† Living requires action and effort.† Choose to make a mark.† Set a positive example and stay safe doing it.

  • Pat Roche

    Thats very well put. As a retiree from the Fire Service I am glad for all the learning and experience I picked up along the way. It was a great job for me and always will be for those who choose it as their career. Thanks for reminding me to be grateful for it.

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Michael "Mick" Mayers

Deputy Fire Chief - Operations Division for Hilton Head Island (SC) Fire Rescue and an Emergency Response Coordinator with the United States Department of Health and Human Services  National Disaster Medical System Incident Response Coordination Team.
Recent Posts
Colin Fanning
The Roto-Ray: Beauty or Beast?
One of the most important facts we reviewed when deciding on the roto ray purchase was this; With the speeds of traffic on SC 278, by the time people heard the sirens on our fire trucks our light bars (on top of the roof) were out of sight. The roto ray, with its mounted location…
2014-07-25 15:07:00
Mick Mayers
Questioning Heroism
Thanks, Bryan! I genuinely believe I do and they tend to reward me with professionalism, innovation, and compassion to our citizens daily. That's something I am happy to facilitate.
2014-07-15 04:10:00
Bryan G. Riebe
Questioning Heroism
Chief, appreciated in your response to Geoff that you work for the FFs. Believe if more Chiefs lived that philosophy our fire services would be bastions of honor, ethics, and human potential.
2014-07-15 00:05:00
Christopher Roy
Questioning Heroism
Geoff, EMS, as its own service, does not have a strong voice and in turn, does not get the respect in the media/public that it does deserve. I do hope that changes. EMS doesn't have a home either, and that doesn't help. There are so many different delivery methods in this country that its probably…
2014-07-14 23:49:00
Mick Mayers
Questioning Heroism
I'm sorry you feel that way, Geoff. The department I work with has been doing EMS (advanced care AND transport) with cross-trained personnel for over twenty years and doing a pretty good job. Our community expects a certain level of service that we have been able to provide through that model and while not every…
2014-07-14 22:01:00

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Although I am affiliated or employed by certain entities, I in no way speak in this forum or others on behalf of those entities unless I have specifically stated such. Any implication otherwise is doing so contrary to my agreements with those entities. The result is that the observations and opinions by myself or on behalf of Firehouse Zen are not sanctioned by any other entity other than Graffiti Train Sherpa Publications and are protected by the copyright laws of the United States of America.

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