We all know that members of the fire service should work to stay competent in their particular roles and jobs. This is not easy, because there is so much information to be learned and the need to practice a full range of skills is critical to performance. Keeping up on the details of our areas of...
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Bottom line, the fire and emergency services is always in need of support. You never know when you (personally or professionally) may have the opportunity to speak to one or more decision makers about issues that could be important to you and/or the fire service in general. When those opportunities come about, they can be lost if the member involved is not familiar with positions that fire service organizations have taken on these issues.
People often ask how they can help with the efforts of the fire and emergency services at the national level. One way every member of our service can help is to become and stay an "informed fire service professional" so you're ready should the opportunity to represent a national fire service issue come your way.
DENNIS COMPTON, a Firehouse® contributing editor, is a well-known speaker and the author of several books, including the When in Doubt, Lead series: Mental Aspects of Performance for Firefighters and Fire Officers, and many other articles and publications. He is also co-editor of the current edition of the ICMA textbook Managing Fire and Rescue Services and the author of the soon-to-be-released book Progressive Leadership Principles, Concepts and Tools. Compton was the fire chief in Mesa, AZ, for five years and assistant fire chief in Phoenix, AZ, where he served for 27 years. Compton is the past chair of the Executive Board of the International Fire Service Training Association (IFSTA) and past chair of the Congressional Fire Services Institute's National Advisory Committee. He is also chairman of the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation Board of Directors and the chairman of the Home Safety Council Board of Directors.