Are You Just Taking Up Space?

I have sure been a lucky camper during my time in the fire service. Many of the folks with whom I have worked over the past four decades have been incredibly interesting, talented and productive people.


This is a problem that straddles the border between career and volunteer fire departments. It is a universal problem that is basically being ignored because of the powerful players involved at the local, county, state, and national levels. It sort of reminds me of an old movie entitled, The Man Who Never Was; the story of a plot to create a person who never lived.

Heck, I have seen that phenomenon time and again over the decades since I graduated from the U.S. Air Force Firefighting School in 1966. The worst cases are given a special, insulting nickname. These are the people we remembers as being "Legends in the Own Minds."

You cannot accomplish anything positive in this life unless you are firmly rooted in the rich fire service soil of believing, loving, sharing, and participating. You need to actively believe in the rightness of our mission. We are an arena wherein our relative value is assessed according to some strict criteria. An unwillingness to participate to the level expected by your fellow travelers is grounds for failure.

The treatise for this visit with you is quite simple. If you are to be a productive fire department member you must come to the table with something. You cannot keep returning to the table and mooching off of your buddies. If you have a true faith and belief in what you do, it will show itself in how you play your part as a member of the team. If not, that too will show itself in time.