Courage

Courage is a commitment to something bigger than yourself.  Fear is often considered the opposite of courage, but I would suggest that  fear is an important part of courage. Courage comes when you are more afraid of the consequences than you are of failure, of injury, or of death.

People often do things that are considered courageous to others, but they themselves see as routine.  So I would suggest also that it really depends on your perspective.  The reason we see things differently comes from education and exposure.  To the untrained eye, charging into a fire requires a lot of courage.  To us, we know that we can do things like stay low, or shut doors behind us, or position a line at the stairwell to protect our egress.  We train in fires and we go to many fires, so all of that helps us to maintain our own perspective.  The danger still exists, but we have learned to live with it.

Our acceptance of the danger, however, should not be confused with complacency.  Complacency is laziness; complacency is disrespect of the conditions. We may get conditioned to live with the danger near to us, but we should never underestimate its unpredictable nature.  We may think we have all the facts, but sometimes we do not.

  • allsecondscount

    Chief Dave Daniels of the Renton Fire Dept has a similar perspective. From the book Fire Department Incident Safety Officer by David Dodson:

    “Firefighting isn’t dangerous, it’s merely risky”

    Fire Chief Daniels explains further:

    “…we learn, train and equip ourselves to understand the dangers and take steps to avoid, control, or eliminate the dangers. When we view things this way, we make choices about the dangers we face. That is risk taking”

  • http://www.facebook.com/anthony.correia.58 Anthony Correia

    Well said. You don’t have to save little babies to be courageous.

background image Blogger Img

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.

FE Talk: Humpday Hangout

Recent Posts
Career Change December 13, 2014
Think Fast November 29, 2014
Comments
Mick Mayers
Someone I Would Have Liked To Have Known
Ruth, Thanks for the comment, although like Tom said, you missed my point. What I was saying is that I am honored and impressed that someone who not so long ago would not have been given a chance - for reasons of race and gender- was given those accolades. She is someone I would have…
2014-12-12 11:24:00
Tom Bouthillet
Someone I Would Have Liked To Have Known
There are plenty of white males who don't deserve to be firefighters. The most qualified individual should get the job regardless of race or gender. That doesn't always happen for a variety of reasons that don't need to be hashed out here. But way to miss Chief Mayers' point entirely.
2014-12-11 12:08:00
Ruth Phillips
Someone I Would Have Liked To Have Known
I've heard of all of these "substandard candidates brought in to fill a role" taking the jobs from those who truly "desire the job and are willing to embrace the lifestyle of a firefighter." Do you mean people of color and women taking the jobs from the more deserving, uh, white male? I'm baffled as…
2014-12-11 04:21:00
drydiggins
Think Fast
My best friend once described flying in 'hard' IFR like being inside a giant ping-pong ball... everywhere you look, featureless white. I've appropriated that to describe people who seem to go through life in their own personal ping-pong balls. Apropos of the bumper sticker "I can't see you so don't pretend to be there."
2014-12-09 04:21:00
Mick Mayers
Leadership That Matters, Part 7
George, Thanks for reading! Yes, I'll actually do that this week. And I actually downloaded that same meme myself a few days ago- I like it.
2014-12-06 15:25:00

Michael "Mick" Mayers' Discussions


Follow Michael "Mick" Mayers

DISCLAIMER

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.

FireEMS Blogs eNewsletter

Sign-up to receive our free monthly eNewsletter

LATEST FIREFIGHTER NEWS

HOT FORUM DISCUSSIONS

LATEST ON FIRE ENGINEERING

FEATURED DISCUSSIONS

LATEST EMS NEWS

HOT FORUM DISCUSSIONS