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.

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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.

FE Talk: Humpday Hangout

Recent Posts
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Comments
Mick Mayers
And Yet It Moves
Thanks for sharing that perspective!
2014-11-07 10:56:00
Ruth
And Yet It Moves
Thank you. I'm not a firefighter, but have worked as a paramedic for a fire department for quite some time, and I'm married to a firefighter who likes to train. For years, while he studied fires and prepped training videos, I've been forced to watch YouTube video after YouTube video of fire scenes. Even before…
2014-10-29 02:59:00
Jason Sparks
And Yet It Moves
Very well stated sir!
2014-10-29 01:45:00
Mick Mayers
And Yet It Moves
Thanks for reading!
2014-10-28 21:23:00
Mark Cummins
And Yet It Moves
Very well said, and thank you for mentioning foam as one of the choices for structural applications.
2014-10-28 17:25:00

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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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