Words Can Mean so Much

Good afternoon from the warm shores of West Virginia...well at least it's warm in January. First off I would like to take the chance to welcome Battalion Chief (ret.) John Salka to the Firehouse.com blogging community. I have been a fan of his work for many years and stand honored to be blogging on the same website. To be placed on the same page with names such as Salka, Carter, and Gasaway is humbling to a backseat-riding boy from WV.

Sometimes in our world you wouldn't believe how just a few words can mean so much. Yesterday, I broke a 12-year good luck spree of NOT delivering a baby while riding on the ambulance. To make a long story short it was a little hectic at first and ended very well with everyone going great. I can describe the scene as "wow!"

It's amazing how something so natural can make for such an exciting scene. During the first few minutes the guys described my radio traffic as a controlled yell as I requested "everything that ends in an 8," meaning some additional help. They were words of endearment as they busted my chops a little and I would not expect anything less from my guys as they are truly are my family.

After all the chops were busted I had a fellow firefighter send me a text message, "Man I heard you did good work this morning, Great Job, Congrats." I can't express how that one message means so much to me. Here I was analyzing every second of the call, every squeal on the radio, and how it could have went better when that one line text made it all ok.

Maybe we all need to bust chops a little less and encourage each other a little more. I love giving my guys a hard time, but maybe I could learn a lesson here too.

A "good job" spoken from a peer could be the best compliment that we can receive in our world. These are the folks in the same spot, doing the same job so they know what it takes to do the job. I'm not making the folks riding the desks seem less important, but the street level guys seem to really know what it takes to do the job well.

So maybe after your next run you should stop and text, or send smoke signals to your fellow firefighter and tell them "You did straight work tonight, great job!" You would be surprised how much it truly means to that person and their whole company.

Thanks for the stop at the jumpseat!