When you are a high-profile public service, the holiday season is the best time to make your fire department shine. There are many events that can leave a lasting positive impression on those we serve.
The department I worked for always had requests for public demos. This can be visiting an orphanage, hospital, or facility that assists children with special needs or illnesses. As heartbreaking as this may seem, firefighters need to maintain an upbeat and joyful attitude when we visit.
Requests also were made for us to bring in Santa Claus for some public event. That required an immaculate truck, spotless and pressed uniforms, positive attitudes, and endless million-dollar smiles and hand waves. These events were great opportunities to interact with the public and answer any and all questions that they may have about the fire service and public safety.
The holiday season also brings many out-of-town visitors. Going out on calls – whether it’s at a home, a shopping mall, or a traffic accident – exposes us to first impressions from tourists, and adds to the ongoing perceptions that our local population has. Thus it is vital to bring our “A” game.
Unfortunately for some, the holidays are not very joyful. It can be a stressful or lonely time for more people than we realize. Again, how we carry ourselves when helping those in need of special assistance will have a lasting impact. Sometimes, even seemingly small gestures of kindness and caring can help provide a lifeline to people in need.
Even at the fire station, we can assist in more than the usual ways. I recall having our families visiting and enjoying a holiday meal. The doorbell rang; it was a family from the neighborhood. They were inquiring to see if we could help them assemble a bike and some other toys since they did not have any tools. Practically everyone jumped out of their chairs to assist. What a great feeling it was to show others including our families what it means to be a public servant.
It’s part of our job to be ever vigilant to ensure the safety of ourselves and others. Remain safe, do good work, and maintain a positive attitude this holiday season!
This article was written for & published by FireEngineering.com.