Are you a Pink Flamingo?

Good afternoon from the Jumpseat! In talking with some friends I have noticed that there seems to be growing breed of firefighter around the world. This is the pink flamingo breed.

You know the type: they are laid out in the yard with their new gear, air bottle full, drinking all the water while looking pretty, just like a pink flamingo. We all have them in our department. I have often heard the term "yard breather," but they have taken it to a new level.

Here is my two cents on this subject. I like socializing with my fellow firefighters too, but the fireground is not the place to do it, nor is it the place to stand there looking cool in your fire gear. The fires scene is a work zone. With today's staffing levels going down faster than a sinking ship it has never been more important to get back to work. Rotate to rehab, drink some water, change your cylinder, and get back at it.

Let's focus in on the one's who never started to work anyway. Look, this job isn't for everyone, maybe you should think more about your career choice. We all need pump operators, rehab personnel, and janitors - it sometimes feels like we do that more than anything - but being a firefighter takes hard work on the fireground and on the drill field. Once you arrive on the scene it's time to gather your tools, thoughts, a radio, and report to your officer for direction.
In many fire departments they are the center of their social circles. Socializing should be kept inside the hall. Once the bells ring it's time to focus in on the tasks at hand.

I also understand that heart attacks are killing us at an alarming rate. This means that a structured, well thought out, and constant rehab program needs to be in place to reduce these risks. This doesn't mean that it's time to spend an extra amount of time talking about how hot it was inside or what's for dinner.

In closing, I would like to remind you that everywhere you go these days you are being filmed and the videos don't lie. Today the bird watchers are everywhere in search of the elusive "Pink Flamingo." Maybe they should show up on your next fire scene to see them standing proud in the front yards.

Bunker up, buckle up, and remember that we start in the jumpseat.

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