Our goal with this three-part series was to provide some suggestions and ideas for those knowledgeable, successful, enthusiastic and hard-charging fire officers who are faced with having firefighters who are less than enthusiastic towards wanting to be the best and brightest. The solutions described in this article may work for your department and then again, they may not. Different personalities certainly make for an “interesting” experience in the day-to-day fire service! What might work for one department may not work for another.
Poor quality fire officers are always a reason for lackluster performance and this is worthy of an article unto itself, but our present discussion is geared towards those company officers who are “immersed” in the job. They live and breathe the “job” with every waking moment, on and off duty. For them, it is an obsession. They are charismatic, good at what they do, have a track record as good educators and are sought after in the organization for what attributes they bring. Those who fall into this category may not be your typical fire officers, but they certainly bring something to the table that is worthy of consideration.
Our senior department leaders should look for these “pearls” in their organization. Find out who they are, for they can make the department shine! When you find them, harness their motivation, protect them, allow them to grow and to learn, because these junior level leaders have spirit and motivation; they are gold! The payoff of maintaining their motivation and spirit will only strengthen your department.
Don’t let these gems throw their hands up in the air, admit defeat and go forth to pursue personal interests away from the fire service.