Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Get Engaged with the Fire Service

Are you truly engaged within the fire service?

This question may have you scratching your head, however it is an extremely important one. In doing some research over the past year focusing on identifying gaps in the fire service, it has come to light that most of the fire service truly isn't engaged. That is they show up do what tasks are at hand and leave whether they are volunteer or career. You may be thinking the big deal is? The big deal is that do you really know what is happening on a local, state or national level that is impacting the fire service. Each day there are major issues that you could have influence over that you never take the opportunity to impact. Most of you may not even know what legislation is being discussed at a local, state or national level, legislation that will impact not only you but the entire fire service.

If you are reading this you are either truly engaged in the fire service or you are at the point you are educating yourself. If you ask 10 other people in your department how many would even know that these type blogs existed and even where to find them. There is the point likely over half would not.

So why get "Engaged"? It is important that you be involved so you have an influence or voice in your fire service.

How do I get "Engaged"? Start by being more involved in your own organization. Then look for groups within your county and state to get started. Join professional organization like; the International Society of Fire Service Instructors (ISFSI), International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC), Congressional Fire Service Institute (CFSI). These organizations have political power on a national level as they have a seat at the table when issues are being discussed. Secondly take time to become well traveled and educated. This is really pretty simple. Get out of your district and see what others are doing, visit and read trade journals and web sites and even take a trip to the National Fire Academy for a course. Lastly find yourself a good mentor and become a mentor to someone else as well.

Our fire service is depending on the current and next generation to carry on the traditions of serving others, protecting lives and making our communities a better place to live, work and play.

Challenge: Get Engaged!
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