Firefighters must be positive not only in the station, but on the fireground to reassure victims that things will improve.
Photo credit: Photo by Glen E. Ellman/FortWorthFire.com
When was the last time you were stuck in a rut of negativity?
First, I would like to welcome you back to the Jumpseat! I apologize for the length of time since my last post as I studied for promotion and made the journey to the Firehouse World conference in San Diego, CA. It was an amazing week of learning for me and hopefully the students who attended my two sessions. I look forward to sharing the experience here on Views from the Jumpseat in the near future.
The first experience I would like to share comes from the plane ride from Ohio to Texas. As we boarded our plane, that was not bigger than my favorite pickup truck, I sat down next to an intriguing businessman of German descent. We began chatting about many different topics and the one that we spoke about at length was the process of being positive. Meeting this wonderful man could not have come at a better time for this jumpseat rider, as I had been in a negative mood for weeks.
"You only live once, choose to live positive" and "I understand, I would feel the same way, and how can we fix this problem" were his two most used sentences. Bam!
There it was, like the bat signal blaring over the streets of Gotham. He was right! We do only live once and there is positive to be found in any situation. Even in the darkest of times that we deal with positives can be found and they need to be focused on. We all can be trapped into focusing on our lack of staffing, perceived poor decisions by management, and the feeling of injustice.
Does it help us to focus in on these and stay mad at the world? No! Finding the good in any situation should be everyone's focus as it will keep us moving forward to serve our communities the best way possible. Remember if you are positive when running calls in the worst of scenarios they will feel comforted by your attitude and outlook and may even help them through their tragedy.
While we flew over state after state and watched the world go by from 30,000 feet, he shared his suggestions for conflict resolution. I understand, I would feel the same way, and how can we fix the problem are three ideas that he used with employees and customers. What a great concept.
How many times do we have these types of conflicts with our firefighters, customers, and officers? The fire service is full of passionate type-A personalities that often have deep feelings for their views and opinions that can cause conflict in and around the firehouse. If we would take these three questions and apply them to our world, we could resolve the conflict better and begin to make the situation better immediately.
While we are riding in the jumpseat we should be preparing ourselves for the climb up the officer ladder. One way of doing this is to focus on the positive and to begin learning conflict resolution. Managing people is a hard thing, but if the street level firefighters are staying positive and reducing conflicts imagine what type of environment your fire station could be. It would be a place where everyone wants to come and serve his or her communities.
Thanks for the visit to the Jumpseat!
Bunker up, buckle in, it's where we all begin!