Rule 13: “Be Nice”

  It is interesting to reflect on the fact that some aspects of the fire and EMS world are constantly becoming more complicated. When I think back to 1971, when I started in our business as a recruit firefighter/EMT, fire station life was fairly...


  It is interesting to reflect on the fact that some aspects of the fire and EMS world are constantly becoming more complicated. When I think back to 1971, when I started in our business as a recruit firefighter/EMT, fire station life was fairly simple. Much of the life-saving technology...


To access the remainder of this piece of premium content, you must be registered with Firehouse. Already have an account? Login

Register in seconds by connecting with your preferred Social Network.

OR

Complete the registration form.

Required
Required
Required
Required
Required
Required
Required
Required
Required
Required

Empowerment Rules

The closing thought for this column is to prepare a set of empowering rules that can be published within your department. Members should feel empowered and supported to “be nice” to one another and to our customers. In organizations that are well supported, the list of “success stories” about conveying acts of kindness is just about endless with tales of matching departmental support from budget dollars to private donations to the old standby, a simple “Thank You!”

The District of Columbia Fire Department produces quarterly a “Great News” book that is a collection of dozens of thank-you notes and cards received during the previous 90 days. This publication is shipped to the mayor, city council and local media, giving these external stakeholders some idea of what is happening inside our organization. The “Great News” book is added to the department’s website so that our membership and others can quickly access this information.

Some departments have a customer service award process that recognizes members for going above and beyond to “be nice.” These types of programs should never interfere with the various types of recognition programs that are in place for fire, medical and rescue personnel; rather, “being nice” should be an embellishment of a departmental awards program.

The first part of “being nice” and high-quality customer service is being able to perform your job flawlessly. Nothing can replace being a high-performance emergency medical technician, paramedic and/or firefighter. Know your job inside and out and do it well, every time. “Being nice” will be a major added bonus for you, your department, and the citizens and visitors who call on you.

DENNIS L. RUBIN, a Firehouse® contributing editor, is a fire and EMS consultant. Previously, he was chief of the Washington, DC, and Atlanta, GA, fire and rescue departments. Rubin holds a bachelor of science degree in fire administration from the University of Maryland and an associate in applied science degree in fire science management from Northern Virginia Community College. Rubin is a graduate of the National Fire Academy’s Executive Fire Officers (EFO) Program, is a Certified Emergency Manager (CEM) and has obtained the Chief Fire Officer (CFO) and Chief Medical Officer (CMO) designations from by the International Association of Fire Chiefs. He is an adjunct faculty member of the National Fire Academy since 1983. Rubin is the author of the book Rube’s Rules for Survival.