What will be your legacy? Good question!
For all of us it hopefully starts within us before we even get hired or start out as a volunteer with a department and that is our attitude, work ethic and how we treat other people around us. They say that a positive attitude is something that can't be taught. Although true, through our positive attitude we can try to lead by example and hopefully make an impact on those who we work with and depend on through our actions. This is why I highly recommend this site to all firefighters or those in EMS. This website gives us an opportunity to soak in or filter out the opinions and experiences of others. Basically that is what we do throughout our careers. We learn from the good and the not so good company officers or co-workers. Through education, experience and ability to work with various levels of expertise, skills and personalities. Hopefully all of that molds us in to the person (leader) that we're meant to be!
I am blessed to have worked with some of the best firefighters, paramedics, company officers and chief officers in the country. I did however have a few that taught me how not to treat people and it put a desire in me to never be that way, but when I had an officer just show me a little bit of appreciation, it made me want to do even more and work even harder for them! I would walk across glass for an officer or leader like that! It's easy to point out flaws or shortcomings in someone, but we need to be looking for what great things they have to offer and keep focused on their positive attributes.
We are one big team, wearing the same patch, sharing our departments mission and delivering a product each day that is priceless! Just because you collect a pay check for being a firefighter doesn't make you a professional. It is however our character, attitude, the skills that we obtain through training and the delivery of those skills on emergency scenes, our work ethic and how we treat others, that makes us a professional. It doesn't matter whether you're a 10 year veteran or a new recruit, others can see the 'leadership' qualities in you. You don't have to be an officer to display that. There is a lot more to a person than the color of their badge or how many bugles they have.
No matter what rank we are, we need to remember that beneath the badge or the color of our uniform shirt, we are all just firefighters! And that is enough! The foundation of what your legacy will be is what you make of it TODAY!
WHAT WILL BE YOUR LEGACY?