What is Brotherhood/Sisterhood

This title has sat in my draft box for sometime and for good reason. I thought of this title one day while becoming very angry at another Brother. Quite often firefighter’s use the term Brother, but do not really understand the meaning behind what they are saying. It is just the common thing to say and an easy way to fit in. I want you to think about the word Family and then think about what it means to you and how you feel about your family. Now I know everyone did not grow up in a perfect utopia living like the Brady’s or the Huxtables, but for the most part I think the meaning is understood. Often times growing up if you had siblings you probably wanted to kill them, but the flip side of the coin is you would absolutely kill for them. So I pose my first question? Why is it that we allow envy to creep in our departments or firehouses and run rampant? What happen to facing each other if you had a discrepancy and working it out. Often times now it seems firefighters now conspire with others to gang up on one firefighter. Brotherhood/Sisterhood use to mean looking out for each other at all cost and it was an US against the world not each other. When did it become appropriate to criticize a fellow firefighter ever, or even worse, before offering them help with their issue? One of the greatest Traditions the Fire Service has to offer is the lessons of the past, that are now seemingly not getting passed on because the wrong folks are getting put in place, and yet we allow for this to happen time after time by not putting that person in there place or when they first come helping them understand what they have become apart of. In thinking of Brother/Sisterhood, it means no matter what you will be there for each other unconditionally. If I have something you need, it should never be to good for you not to use it. If you just need someone to talk to I should be offering that listening ear. If you are a little short on cash to make the mortgage and I got it, it should be yours no questions asked. With no favors expected in return. Most of all give the gift of  knowledge, share what you know. Now I ask you what does Brother/Sisterhood mean to you?


  • Training38 says:

    I personnally think that Brotherhood/Sisterhood is more than a definition. It is a way of life. Brotherhood is more than coming to work and just doing enough to get by. Brotherhood is picking up anothers slack when he or she is under the weather or something personal is going on. I am not saying this is a daily occurance or pick up the slack just to get someone by in this job. Brotherhood is giving up one of your days off and putting everthing else on hold to help someone move, work on their house or car. One place to start is around the kitchen table or in the apparatus bays. When the senior experienced firefighters are talking, the newer, younger, LESS experienced firefighters are present, they need to be quiet and listen. This is the original Near Miss reporting system. You can learn from the “war stories” when they start off with “That was a close one” or “Don’t know why, but…”. This is where valuable information has been traded for years. I am not saying we can’t learn from everyone in the station. There is a time and a place. Brotherhood is earned, not a right. It’s more of a passage that truely cannot be explained.

  • Bill says:

    Brotherhood and Sisterhood is very deep…it is a long term commitment to your fellow firefighters…it comes from within. Knowing that they’ve got your six, to the best of their ability and for them to know the same of you. Such relationship take nurturing and time; they can be spontaneous, but most often I think not. I like the unconditional term used in the above text response…this is Agape love as we are taught in the Christian faith. We maintain that through practice and prayer. Blessings to you all.

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