Pennington: Earn Your Spot Everyday

Did you earn your spot on the department? If you think back to the days of training, pushing, and working towards becoming a firefighter, do you remember how hard you worked? When was the last time you worked that hard? Forgetting how hard we worked and how big of an honor it is to serve as a firefighter should never happen. While comfort comes with experience we should be trying to earn our spot every day.

Now that you have earned a black helmet, gained some experience, and feel like you have a good grasp on what it takes to be a firefighter, have you lost that hunger? When we sign up to begin training as a firefighter we all have this drive to become a member and prove that we have what it takes. We show up early, work harder than everyone else, and go the extra mile to earn our spot. Showing the world that we belong is the mission and nothing will stop us from achieving this dream. Over and over we have seen this and many times people lose the focus that they once had.

Where does that drive go?

Once becoming part of the group and when we earn our spot is where the change begins. We become part of the team and transition from the hungry newbie to the experienced member. While this transition is natural and well earned, we also need to remember how hard we worked to get there. Everything we did, such as learning, training, and working hard to earn the spot is something that we should keep up on.

How do you stay hungry? This is a question that this Jumpseat rider struggles with on a daily basis. Finding motivation to continue the hard work year after year needs to start from within. Evaluating your performance on calls, the attitude in the firehouse, and how many training sessions you attend is a great starting point. No one can be as brutally honest as you!

Take a look back at your last fire. Did you perform up to you expectations? Where could you have done things a little better, faster, or more efficiently? This is how we stay sharp and keep pushing for perfection. Searching for points of improvements can keep us focused as we progress up the food chain. No matter if it’s day one or one thousand, we should all strive to keep the spot we earned on the department.

Bunker up, buckle in, and remember that we all start in the Jumpseat!