So many times around the Firehouse, I hear people talk about the â€œGood old Days.â€ They talk about how much fun it used to be and the things they did. The things they â€œgot away withâ€ and â€œHow much trouble we couldâ€™ve gotten into if we were caught.â€
The war stories are great to hear but we need to ask the big question. Whatâ€™s changed? What has changed over the years that make things so much worse? Is it that the â€œnewâ€ leaders have forgotten where they came from? Or is it that they remember the things that happened and want to prevent the same things from happening again? Or could it even be that â€œWEâ€ have forgotten to continually teach the new members the history of our departments and â€œhow it used to be?â€ Maybe itâ€™s just that too, â€œThe Old Days.â€
Things arenâ€™t what they used to be no matter where you look. Things change, sometimes itâ€™s for the good and sometimes itâ€™s for the bad. Weather good or bad, one thing is for certain, â€œChangeâ€ is inevitable. No matter how much we like or dislike it, change is going to happen. Change is also what you make of it. You can either embrace the change or try to fight it. Embrace it for what it is and learn to like it or spend effort and energy trying to fight it and get nowhere. The old days are what have shaped us and our departments. It has made us who we are and made us never forget who the ones are that came before us and paved the way for us to have what we have now.
Some departments have a deep and rich history. Departments like FDNY, Boston. Philadelphia, Charleston, and many more can trace their roots all the way back to Colonial Times where they began as small individual volunteer fire brigades. It is up to us as the membership to â€œteachâ€ the new recruits our history. By keeping them informed on the history of our departments, maybe we can make a change for the better and start to get back a little of â€œThe Old Days!â€ Theyâ€™ll never learn the history unless they are taught the history. It is up to us to preserve the history of our departments and teach the new recruits what it was like to be a firefighter before them.
If we start now, we may never see the change but maybe, we can begin to make some changes for the better. The war stories are great but telling the history of your department can go so much further in getting a young impressionable mind to realize what theyâ€™ve become. Getting to know THEIR department will help give them a sense of â€œPride and Ownershipâ€ that many have forgotten about.
Letâ€™s start a new trend. Letâ€™s talk about â€œThe Old Daysâ€ but tell the history along with the war stories. Letâ€™s make a push to not let the new firefighters forget where weâ€™ve come from and maybe they will be the voice of change in the future to get the â€œOld Daysâ€ back.