Fire Service Networking & Building Relationships

Networking is making contacts with people who can assist you in some capacity at anytime.

Don't forget to keep in touch with your contacts every now and then, even if it is to just say hi and keep them posted on your progress. Also, don't hesitate to thank them for their time and to keep them on your holiday greeting card list. Keep your name out there and fresh in people's minds. As the Janet Jackson song goes, "what have you done for me lately?" Remember that when you are networking and building relationships.

Some final thoughts to remember about those professionals you are networking with: keep in touch; don't overburden them or be a pest; don't ask them to do anything unethical, illegal, or immoral; and do not wear out your welcome!

STEVE PRZIBOROWSKI, a Contributing Editor, has over 20 years of fire service experience, currently serving as a deputy chief for the Santa Clara County Fire Department in Los Gatos, CA. Steve is also an instructor for the Fire Technology Program at Chabot College in Hayward, CA. He was named the 2008 California Fire Instructor of the Year and is a former president of the Northern California Training Officers Association. He has earned a master's degree in Emergency Services Administration, a bachelor's degree in Criminal Justice, and an associate's degree in Fire Technology, completed the Executive Fire Officer Program and has received Chief Fire Officer Designation through the Commission on Professional Credentialing. You can contact Steve through his websites: and