Monday, March 29, 2010

Stopping the Loss of Knowledge

Statistics indicate that during the next decade, thousands of fire officers and senior firefighters will leave the profession. They have done their duty, and they are looking forward to a well-deserved retirement. These colleagues possess such a wealth of knowledge that it would be a shame to lose it; however, this potential for loss is on our horizon. I am requesting a two way venture to occur. Youthful members of our great profession, go to the seasoned veterans and ask them to share their knowledge with you. Also allow them to mentor to you. Veterans fire service professions, take time to share all you know with colleagues around you. What you possess is priceless.

Additionally, we have thousands of fire officers in leadership roles whom are blessed with clinical and administrative knowledge. They know the in and outs of staffing, budgeting, capital equipment prioritizing, employee assistance and development, and schedule coordination. The next generation of fire officers is entering a world of tight budgets, looming staff shortages, an aging population, and a sometimes fanatical drive for efficiency by administrators. I hear from both groups, however, that the other is not interested in learning.

The fire chief should equip officers to lead. Officers should lead their subordinates positively and equip their subordinates to lead as well. We have lost this art in our business. I can relate to coming along as a young officer want to be. I can say I am the most blessed man in the entire fire service history to have had the type of mentors I had. Individuals that had the true passion giving endlessly and tirelessly to me and others at that time. These individuals are my true inspiration and taught me all about passion. To these guys who know who they are, Thanks you for the gift! Now if you are with me in receiving this gift as well then it is time to pay back the debt. You can only pay this debt by passing it along.
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