“He writes his own headlines”

What does “Writing his own headlines” mean?  That’s when someone spends so much time thinking about how this is going to look in the news they forget they have to do the work before the story gets written.

Example:

“Hey Lt Can I borrow one of your guys for this medical call?  My guy is cooking supper.”

“Of course, no problem” was my reply.

1/2 hour later both companies get a call for a Central Station Alarm, and the cook shows up on his piece to go.  When we return the cook asks my guy to cover for him again.  I say No.  He says “But how can you let US run short?”

I understand the cook is doing something for the benefit of everyone in the house that’s why I have no problem running short if his boss does have a problem running short.  My guys are not here to fill in so you can cherry pick your calls, either we cover you or we don’t.  So, in order to prevent digressing into an all out rant, let me be a bit more positive.  Or try.  All companies are equally important in the fire service.  If a company was not needed believe me the bean counters would close it.

If you think that chasing the beeping boxes all day downtown makes you a more important firefighter than the firefighter that works in the retirement firehouse in the affluent neighborhood, you are wrong.  It’s just your job, volunteer or paid.  For the paid guys who think they are more important than the vollies ask the residents of Breezy Point about how important their volunteer companies are.

What makes a company more important than another one?  Nothing on a day to day basis. No resident cares as long as someone shows up.

Knowing your job and doing your job when it matters makes you a BETTER company, more PREPARED Company.  I’m sick of hearing about the “Elite” companies that just drew a short straw that one time. EVERY TIME. Wow, the “Elite” company has a straight up figure eight in the feeder….. that IS awesome.

You know what, I’m going to go negative.  It’ll be more fun this way.  Here is a short list of ways to tell if your company is spending more time writing their own headlines then they are making the story worth reading.  Please feel free to add your own.

1. Oh jeez!  I thought Stedman Court was off Stedman Ave, why would it be 3 blocks away?

2. If you can get to the address, but not to the fire.

3. If you can get to the roof, but dog gone it that guy yesterday didn’t fill the saw.

4. If you know what every other Fire Company did at the incident.

5. If you know what every other Fire Company did WRONG at the incident.

6. What the hell is he checking that tool for?  We never use it.  He must be new.

7. I didn’t know they were building this massive apartment complex in my district.  Those lazy Fire Prevention guys should have told us.

8. We don’t need training, they do.

9. Look at them wearing their equipment while investigating.  Are they afraid of fire or something? It’s just an alarm.

10.  Its not our fault the piece is all beat up.  It’s too big for our district, the city should have thought of that.

Maybe you should have a look in the mirror and see what is really there.  You cannot be that unlucky, maybe you just suck at this.  There is hope, and training is the light at the end of the excuse tunnel. If something is going wrong every time you go out and it always seems to be someone else’s fault, um, sorry but it’s not them…it’s you.

Let’s do the Jeff Foxworthy thing; “You might be writing your own headlines if;”….

 

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Marques Bush

Firefighter Basics launched in February 2009 after Founder/Editor Marques Bush was looking for a way to express himself and share his experiences with brother and sister firefighters. Shortly after founding the site Marques spoke with several trusted friends and ask them to come on board and contribute also. Firefighter Basics is a dedicated group of firefighters who strive everyday to practice what they preach about Training, Safety, and Tradition. We can be reached at firefighterbasics@gmail.com

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