The biggest problem in the fire service is a closed mind and a closed nozzle. I don’t care if you are a smooth-bore Baptist or combination-nozzle Catholic. You need to baptize that building with water. Come together as one denomination and realize we’re here to do one thing, but we’re not doing as well as we think we are.
If you have that nozzle closed as you crawl down that hallway to Jermain in his Spider-Man pajamas, would beg to differ with you about your definition of heat. You’re not feeling anything until about 450 degrees while their dying and screaming for us, and we.
Do you remember what they told you about how you take the victim out? Do you want to drag them back through that hallway? What hallway did you just come through? Did it hurt to come through that hallway? You can literally kill the victim while dragging them back through that hallway. They showed you to get their face out first. These guys know their stuff.
“Be a thinking firefighter. Don’t be this check the box, minimum PowerPoint instructor, firefighter.”Andy Starnes | Instructor and Founder at Insight Fire Training LLC
Pay attention to that. You’re giving them a better chance, but don’t delay your actions. Use your tools and your training. Be a thinking firefighter. Don’t be this check the box, minimum PowerPoint instructor, firefighter.
You’ve been through those classes where the instructor is looking at the slides and they’re just reading the bullet points. Don’t do that. Be passionate about what you do. Whether you realize it or not, your time here as a firefighter is very limited.
“Your time underneath this helmet is limited but your time as a servant and as a good human being is not.”Andy Starnes | Instructor and Founder at Insight Fire Training LLC
Who’s been on the department the least amount of time here? How long have you been on, 10 months? Who’s been on the most amount of time here? I’ve been on 23 years, 30 years total. I’ve got 29 months left. I have 29 marbles in a jar on my desk. Every month I throw a marble away because I’m going to retire. Your time underneath this helmet is limited but your time as a servant and as a good human being is not.
Just because you’re not wearing this helmet does not mean you can’t make an impact on someone. The color of your helmet does not matter. What does matter is your heart and what you share when you come back from this training. We’re all fighting the same fight, but you need to use the collective resources from each other.
The answers to your problems are in somebody’s head right now, and shame on us for not asking. Please do your part. You all have value, from 10 months to 20 years, but realize your time underneath his helmet is limited. What are you doing with that time? Don’t be sitting on that rocking chair on your front porch, 20 years from now wishing you would have done something different. Do it with all your heart and help as many people as you can.
“When you’re off duty, be off duty.”Andy Starnes | Instructor and Founder at Insight Fire Training LLC
When you’re off duty, be off duty. This place doesn’t own you, so don’t let it. Be who you were called to be. That could be a dad, mom, husband, wife, friend, whatever. Be that. Enjoy it because you don’t want to come home after a 30-year career to an empty house and a Dear John letter.