When I first signed up to be on my department’s USAR (Urban Search and Rescue), FEMA Florida Task Force 2 (FLTF2) team, I did not have a clue about the different disciplines there were and what was available. I just wanted to be a part of it. The Task Force Leader at that time said we needed logistics personnel. So, I said "OK," sounds neat to me! I soon found out that no matter what industry or organization you work for, logistics is basically the backbone of any company/organization. It is the support!
I remember when I first started going through the procedures for becoming a driver engineer in my former department, I do not recall being told about wheel chocks, or how to use them! Once assigned to a driver’s position, I don’t even recall having wheel chocks on my apparatus. That is probably because the geography of Miami is flat (boring). It was not until a few years later upon becoming the driver engineer instructor that I became educated on their use.
Your uniform says a lot about you and your organization. Personal appearance and hygiene always need to be kept in mind. The way others see you — the public, fellow employees, and others that you associate with in your line of work — can make a statement based on first impressions and beyond.
Every department operates with policies, standard operating procedures, guidelines, etc. However, no matter how strictly you follow these parameters, they do not "always" work from a practical standpoint. Is following them to the "T" always working in the best interest of the client/patients/public?
During morning checks of your apparatus, it is important to not only check the power tools on your truck, but also the hand tools. Regular maintenance and cleaning need to take place to assure that they will perform correctly when needed and be presentable in case a public demonstration takes place.
Keeping this philosophy in mind is a "win-win" situation for both the public and the firefighters that use the tools.
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.
Throughout a career, you will encounter many different types of individuals, each with unique personalities. You will soon learn to pick out what a person’s intentions, morals and/or standards are. In other words, "where they are coming from."
Most firefighters take great pride in their work and what they do. The decals on personal vehicles and fire department-emblazoned T-shirts, polo shirts or whatever article of clothing worn off-duty advertise who we are and what we do. The public sees us as servants for the municipality we work for and a person to go to in a time of need.
Everyone at some point in their careers will have to deal with the change of a supervisor. In the fire service, especially at the station level, this is an intimate working relationship, unlike other careers where the supervisor stays predominantly in their office and only confers with upper management. We need to realize that everyone has their own management style and we either need to accept it or move on to a different position.