We begin our fire service careers with a fire burning in our bellies and the intent of being around for a long time. The challenges of day-to-day life at home and at work confront all of us and sometimes make it difficult to keep that fire from dimming over the years. We've all known company...
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This article was written to address company officer leadership, but the thoughts expressed can be applied across the board to all of us. We are all subject to up and down cycles at work and at home.
A valid question is, "Are there specific, realistic behaviors and concepts that we can practice to help us stay positive, productive and healthy contributors for the entire duration of our careers?" I know many company officers who do this very well and have been a great influence on the careers of others. They have found a way to keep their fires lit, which can sustain or re-ignite the fire in others. We all know that this can have a positive effect on service delivery in the streets and on internal relations, as well.
We're going to be here for a long time; we may as well enjoy ourselves and help those around us do the same. This is as important at the company-officer level as it is anywhere in the organization. Perhaps the thoughts shared in this article will be helpful in some way - they can't hurt!
Dennis Compton, a Firehouse® contributing editor, is the fire chief in Mesa, AZ. He previously served as assistant fire chief in the Phoenix Fire Department. During a career that spans 28 years, Compton has been involved in many fire service and civic organizations, and is a well-known speaker and author. He currently chairs the executive board of the International Fire Service Training Association (IFSTA) and serves as vice-chair of the Congressional Fire Services Institute's National Advisory Committee.