Firefighter Robs Bank, firefighter charged with DUI. And firefighter arrested for stealing from homes. All of these are real news headings. I have not posted anything for a while and have unfortunately seen us as a service in the news in a bad light. I am not and will never be a big media fan. I have never called myself a "hero".
That being said I have the best f-in job in the world, it's not all adrenaline and the cool shit on the movies. But I work with amazing guys that I would do anything for, and risk anything for. I know that there are bad people amongst us, I have worked beside them. But I do believe overall we are an awesome group of people, there is a tie that binds us together, some say brotherhood. I hate that term... Probably because I've seen it on too many t-shirts. But there is a truth to that association. Think about the last training/seminar you attended. It was pretty easy to form friendships with people you have never met.
So let's say Johnny Fireman decided to beat his wife, gets arrested. Here is what I want all of you to remember...headline doesn't say "Johnny beats his wife" it says "Firefighter beats wife". We as a group are labeled due to our profession.
So let's make the argument that this is because we are in the headlines and this is expected...I disagree. Look at football players. Did you see football player hits wife videos or was it Ray Rice?
Now why do I give a shit? I heard an old chief once say "Those guys aren't part of MY fire service" I take offense to Johnny Fireman making me look like an asshole. One act of one person can cause the public to make a snap judgment on us as a whole.
So please share this with our newer younger members joining the fire service. Let them know that people see them as a firefighter.. With or without the uniform on. The public is holding them to that standard.
Last week a guy on my shift was out of town, got stuck in the snow...a guy noticed his fire plates, stopped and told him he was a local firefighter. After my shift mate had broken this guys shovel, and was pulled out of the drift the stranger wouldn't take a dime for his trouble. We are good people. Let's continue to make positive stories.