Friday, March 12, 2010

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Ethics?

The recent Cumberland Valley White Paper on Fire Service Reputation Management illustrates a troubling fire service trend: entitlement. Perhaps we should stop walking on water and adopt a little humility as a profession. The respect of the public we serve is not automatically accorded, it is earned. The highly publicized scandals involving firefighters have done more to destroy the honor and reputation of the fire service than any outside critic could accomplish independently. It may be time to wake up and smell the coffee: instead of considering scandal avoidance, how about reconsidering the roots and traditions of the fire service that brought us here in the first place?

A serious rededication to our mission would, in my opinion, put us back in our former place of high societal esteem. Ethics is knowing the difference between right and wrong. The tradition of the fire service is all about right. There is no room for wrong. Getting back to our heritage would help put the train back on the track. Firefighters never were and never will be entitled to hero status. Such stature is earned each and every day.

Mike McEvoy
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10 comments:

  1. Mike:
    I was disappointed in the report's leanings towards blaming "leadership". Leadership has been taking a beating, I swear, but today's leaders are being forced to take the time to teach people how to learn. That almost sounds like Yogi Berra, but it's true. We don't teach pupils to work hard to find the right answer. That's why they invented Google. We just want the right answer. Cheating is more prevalent, because the line has been blurred between what is cheating and what is gaming the system to get the right answer.
    And instead of the authors putting the blame where it should go, they choose the easy way out and blame "leadership".
    When are we going to return to a society where we take personal responsibility again? When are we going to quit blaming something or someone else?
    When are we going to stop reinforcing bad behaviors in the fire service?
    And why did a regional organization have to take the lead on this?

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  2. i couls not agree more

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  3. All I can reply here is those two videos from Rick Lasky. EVERYONE entering the fire service should listen to this video.

    Part 1 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W3PKrj3SvA0
    Part two http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xlKjMvV_G3A&feature=related

    Claude Duval
    Kingston Fire Rescue

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  4. All I can reply to this is these two videos from Rick Lasky. EVERYONE entering the Fire Service should be exposed to this "Welcome to the Fire Service" interview.

    Part 1 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W3PKrj3SvA0
    Part 2 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xlKjMvV_G3A&feature=related

    Claude Duval
    Kingston Fire & Rescue

    ReplyDelete
  5. All I can reply to this is these two videos from Rick Lasky. EVERYONE entering the Fire Service should be exposed to this "Welcome to the Fire Service" interview.

    Part 1 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W3PKrj3SvA0
    Part 2 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xlKjMvV_G3A&feature=related

    Claude Duval
    Kingston Fire Rescue

    ReplyDelete
  6. As the wife of a career firefighter I agree with the above statement. I am appalled at the stories of firefighters being arsonists, thieves, and even involved in child pornograhy. At one time there was a strong sense of brotherhood and a pride in being considered 'the good guys'. Fire Departments were "safe places" and the kids in the community looked up to the firefighters. Now parents are telling kids not to trust police OR fire. When did the tide turn? It's a sad state of affairs and I'm angry at the few who have tarnished the image of the Fire Service.

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  7. Nice idea Mike. But do you think we can get the "entitled" generation to see it that way? As a Fire Chief, I agree with Chiefreason, leaders should be held accountable when appropriate, but should not be used a scapegoats for lack of the truth. On and off duty behavior is refelctive of everyone in the fire service. It seems as though some have lost sight of what is acceptable behavior. A very wise recruit instructor once told me "If you have to question yourself whether what you're about to do is the right thing, it probably isn't".

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  8. "a troubling fire service trend: entitlement."
    Very eloquently put. This attitude is widespread in my dept., and it's embarrassing.

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  9. I blame pay. The amount of money we make these days is very desirable and not neccesarily to the right folks. Alot of the guys I have come up with arent in it because they want to help the community in which they work but because where else can they make this kind of money and work 10-14 days a month. Back in the early days of fire pay sucked the work sucked and the men who did it did it because they wanted to help out and make there community safer. Not only that but since the pay and work enviroment has steadily increased over the years the new guys dont want to do anything. Hard work nah forget about it, sitting around the house ok. Its disgusting and needs to change. I think this paper is over due

    ReplyDelete

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