Everyone at some point in their life looks forward to retiring. The issue facing some is what we do with our time if we’re still productive. We need to occupy our time by having activity in our lives, both mentally and physically.
If you serve for many years within a department, there will be times when you have some "lows" based on actions or occurrences at your workplace — sometimes involving co-workers. Knowing how to cope and find ways of getting back on track and becoming more upbeat and enthusiastic about your work will help you become physically, mentally and emotionally stronger.
One day my wife started getting rid of some old T-shirts of mine (without me knowing) to give away to a local charity that resold used clothes. Many were fire department shirts that I had won from T-shirt bets during football season or other fire department shirts I had traded with our department shirts.
With the recent firing of six City of Miami firefighters, many have taken notice. Anytime there is a controversial issue that impacts a public-sector employee, it makes headlines! Supervisors and administrators need to take any type of racial, sexual, hazing harassment seriously. There is no place for it in the fire service — period.
In my first article, I presented a compelling case for the relationship of cancer and firefighting. The toxic environment in which firefighters work is well known, yet the fact remains that we can do more to save ourselves from this scourge.
It begins with leadership. The days of wearing dirty gear and blackened helmets are gone. Hoods, helmets, gloves, air packs, and bunker gear need to be cleaned and inspected after every exposure. We cannot forget all the other items that have been exposed including anything and everything that has been in the path of the “toxic snake”. This includes equipment, ladder, hoses, and our apparatus. The list would not be complete if we forget the firefighters. Keeping our bodies clean with a hot/cold shower is part of this protocol.