Over on UniformStories.com I posted about a subject near and dear to my heart: the Truckies. HavingÂ led the Truck Company for most of my career (although now the “chief” days seem to be adding up), I wanted to share a little bit about what it is they do and why they have such a following. Â If you are new to Firehouse Zen (I have been made aware that I have a few new followers) you might not realize that I also write on that site as well- and since some of you new readers are not fire or EMS personnel, you may actually like to look at some of those articles as well, since when I wrote them, I intentionally was writing them to a different audience.
One of the enduring challenges I see in the fire service is that we are pretty full of ourselves. We seem, sometimes, to forget that there are other ways of looking at problems or issues, and only seem to go outside our tightly defined boundaries when something pushes us there, sumo-like, kicking and screaming. Â With the exception of the public information and education crowd, some of the fire service bloggers andÂ leaders seem to forget about the citizen perspective on our job until we need them to be on our side.
To be candid, that is the equivalent of that “fair weather friend”: only there when they need something from you. Â You may respect that individual for their other qualities, you may even look up to them and wish you could be more like them. Â But still, when pushed to help them out of an inconvenient situation, you may do so grudgingly, because you know that when your utility has run it’s course, it’s back to the old relationship (no relationship).
On the other hand too, it is good to get the viewpoint of other similarly related disciplines. Â We may not be able to directly relate to an individual but may see some commonalities in their approach to a situation that we can apply in our own. Again, the UniformStories.com site has some of my favorite blog writers working it: Justin Schorr (maybe better known as The Happy Medic), Michael Morse (author of Rescuing Providence), and Motorcop. If you can’t get something out of reading their articles, you just aren’t opening your mind up.
But my participation in the project has been primarily to educate the public in what we do, and not from the “Stop, Drop, and Roll” angle, but with a nod to our traditions and the inner-view of what it is that breaks the job of firefighter out from other careers. Â Just as I encourage you to readÂ some of the articles written by law enforcement and military authors on the site, I wanted those in law enforcement and the military to see where WE come from and maybe we can bridge the very small gap between our professions. Â We are, after all, in the same job classification: defending others from bad stuff.
Do me a favor and check out some of these posts and share them with others. Â Take what is being offered to you by reading them and look into the possibilities that their experiences, while maybe not directly relatable, have some parallels which could lend toward engagement and enlightened thinking.