What Would You Do?

Life in the firehouse sometimes mimics the televison show "What Would You Do?" when they create situations to coax a response from bystanders.


Have you seen the television show "What Would You Do?" The show creates situations that are controversial and politically incorrect to see how the bystanders and other innocent passersby handle what is happening. Obviously the test is who will step in or say something to the actors who are taking advantage of someone or treating someone unkindly. As I sat and watched the show it occurred to me that these same types of situations exist in the firehouse or at the emergency scene, and some of us step up and handle the situation and some of us don't.

One of the most common firehouse situations is the firefighter that is dragging himself around the station from recliner to couch to lounge chair while the rest of the crew is doing the daily house work, tool inspections and apparatus maintenance. The rest of the crew members are just waiting for the officer to either notice this or say something or both. The problem is sometimes the officer sees it but does not want to cause a confrontation or single out the slow starter. What would you do?

Then you have the firefighters that ask their officer if the company can make a short visit to the local softball field where some off duty members are playing a critical game. "They're a guy short boss, can one of us play until the late comer gets there to finish the game? It will only be for about 20 minutes lieutenant, what do you say?" What would you do?

Then there's the engine officer who is rebuilding some type of machine on the firehouse workbench, who asks the truck officer to take in a run for him on the engine so he doesn't have to stop what he is doing and clean up before getting on the rig for the run. He says he will respond with the truck if they get a run while the engine is out. What would you do?

Each of these situations is simply a decision that you may sometime find yourself faced with. These three situations and about three million more await each of us out there on the fireground and back at the firehouse.

What will you do?