The Spirit of Brotherhood

Yes, the holiday season is now upon us, with lots of gifting and shopping and egg nog and stuff like that.  We have Black Friday waffle iron riots, we have camping on sidewalks to get the best deals at Best Buy, and we have court fights over the presence of various religious displays.  It is what I call the "Lost Season", when everyone has scheduled holiday and vacation leave and nobody ever seems to be in their office, in anyplace, anywhere.

In a true interpretation of the season, however, and in keeping with the observation that most of the world's religions have more in common than they have that separate them, we have to remember the real meaning of the season and that reason is to promote peace on earth and goodwill to mankind.  That we should be celebrating our family and our friends and we should be reminding those individuals how much they mean to us.  

This season, however, we should be reaching out to those less fortunate than we are in a spirit of brotherhood, especially when we call the fire service a brotherhood, and especially when times are hard everywhere.  There are many ways to do this and each of you should find your own way to express this shared bond.  I am positive there are departments we all know of that can use a helping hand right now.  Not every community is as blessed as some of us, not just with equipment or apparatus, but in the wealth of knowledge some of you can bring to teach others about how to do the job a little more efficiently and a little safer.

I have been informally discussing ways to help our brother and sister firefighters in places like Nepal, where disaster could strike at any moment and the infrastructure is so poor that it would only magnify the devastation.  A brother firefighter from Belgium has actually been over there and along with others, have been instrumental in bringing updated equipment and apparatus to these folks.  Ironically, we are talking about '70's and '80's era equipment as being "updated".  Some of the apparatus is older than I am.  This cause is using a power of social media to promote interest, at this site called Fire AID.

There is no doubt, especially with the destruction Sandy brought a few weeks ago, that we have departments in our midst that could use help.  I strongly encourage you all to find ways to do this.  But on a grander scale, the things we can't use anymore here in our own country because of technology changes, regulatory compliance, or any other number of reasons, would be an amazing gift to departments in Central and South America, Asia, and Africa, among many other places.

So all of you who believe in the spirit of the fire service and that we are all truly "brothers" need to think of ways to help others.  This is the perfect time to start working in that direction.  It can be done through any number of means, and even the lowest rookie among us has the potential to do amazing things for others.  I said it on Thanksgiving: if you have a roof over your head, electricity for powering your computer, or a warm place to read this from, you are doing better than a large number of the world's population.  Express your gratitude for being given the opportunities and resources to do this job by sharing them with people who are just like you, but not quite as lucky.

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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
The Part We Forget September 14, 2014
Leadership Derailment September 7, 2014
Got Generational Issues? August 30, 2014
Heard This Story Before? August 24, 2014
Comments
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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