Friday was my husband's last day as a professional firefighter/ EMT. We're making big changes this month and the decision to leave his job is one of them. Just before he was to leave, Danny was nominated by a fellow firefighter to write a "blog post" to the others on "C shift." This is an initiative begun by one of the Battalion Chiefs in the department to help connect crews, give people a voice, and help motivate his people. Luckily, Danny's nomination perfectly coincided with his last few days on the job, so he used it not only to help encourage and motivate, but also to thank the people he's known throughout his time in the department for their hard work and dedication and to say farewell. Here is his thoughtful post:
Danny, over five years ago, in his training academy
JULY 24, 2015
As I find myself sitting in the dispatch
office of Station 11, on my last day of employment with the Fire/EMS
Department, I cannot help but reminisce about my time and experiences. In a few
short days, I will be accompanied by my wife, Julie, and our two dogs, Olive
and Chloe, as we journey westward in search of new challenges. Before
I make my departure, I would like to take this opportunity to condense the
insights I have been presented with as they relate our collective experience
together in this department. These insights are the product of time spent with
my peers performing, arguably, the greatest job in the world.
Don’t get so caught up in your own little world. Your main priority, as it
applies to this job, should be to simply have fun. Initiate some pranks on your
coworkers, laugh at yourself when you make a mistake, bring a positive attitude
with you to work each day and people will gravitate towards that thought
process. Life is easier when you are having fun and, as a result, your job
performance will improve. With that in mind, ask yourself what you can do today
or next time you are on duty to spread a little joy to your shift mates.
SHOW ONE ANOTHER COMPASSION
A wise person once said, “Be kind for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.” We need to do a
better job of looking out for one another and lending the proper support when
we can. If your crew runs a challenging call and everyone performs well, take
the time to congratulate each other and let your peers know they did an
excellent job. It is easy to become immune to the sufferings of others by the
very nature of what we do, but I urge you to remember that it is essential to
show compassion to one another, because if we do not, who will?
Positive communication is a challenging skill to master. It requires
courage to speak your mind and respect for the people that you are
communicating with. I used to keep my concerns bottled up and they began to
consume me. Through my time here, I have learned that is imperative to discuss
issues with others as soon as they present themselves. Simply jotting down a
few ideas on a scrap piece of paper and asking those around you for a meeting
is a great start and a sure way to get the mutual respect of your peers.
I am thankful for my time spent in this county as a firefighter because
of the awesome people I got to experience. We help people on the worst days of
their lives and that job requirement has given me the perspective to look at my
life with immense gratitude. Appreciate all that you have, because it could all
be gone in an instant. With that said, I would like to show some gratitude to
each and every member of this department by saying thank you so much for doing
what you do with such a high level of professionalism. It is truly incredible.
PEOPLE HAVE LIMITS, THIS IS NOT A
An admirable quality to have is the awareness of one’s own capabilities and
limitations. It is important for
everyone to remember that the only person you need to compete with is
yourself. There is no need to look
outside of one’s self to gauge his or her own strengths. Healthy competition is essential for growth
and progress, but when it affects your ability to develop relationships with
your crewmembers and cooperate with others, your behavior should be
evaluated. For example, it’s great to
stress the importance of exercise and a healthy lifestyle, but we don’t all
have to be fitness all-stars. We don’t
all have to be the BEST at a particular skillset to try our hardest and work
towards polishing that skill. Remember,
everything takes time and this leads me to my final pearl of wisdom, which has
been my hardest virtue to attain: patience.
Patience, as it relates to the fire department, is essential, because we
are serving others on their worst days.
If we incorporate patience in our daily lives, we will find a greater
sense of peace, relaxation, renewed energy, and maturity. To have patience is to place the needs of
others before the needs of yourself, which as firefighters and EMTs, we are all
very capable of doing. Here’s a
challenge to test your patience: practice thinking before you speak. Sometimes, we say whatever comes to mind, but
challenge yourself to take time to actually consider what you are saying or
writing before you put it out there. If
you practice patience in your speech and when you interact with others, you
will be more considerate of their feelings and circumstances. From putting this into practice, congratulate
yourself, because you have just become a more patient individual.
As I move forward, I will be forever grateful for my time spent in this
county. It’s been real; be good to one
What advice would you give your coworkers to help them be more balanced and happy before you left your job?
Labels: Gratitude, Life, Mind & Body, Positivity, The Power of Words