A Veteran Chief Asks ‘What Are You Here For’ — What’s Your Answer?

WhatareyouThis is a guest post by Chief Timothy S. Delehanty, a longtime firefighter, chief, instructor and fire service advocate from Maryland

A lot of questions have been posed over the course of time about the behavior of some persons who are in the emergency services. We are in an age of those who we work with and volunteer with who seem to think that it is all about them. This is not really a new concept.

Throughout my career in the fire service, I have seen many of them. Those who slide by doing the minimum amount of work while receiving just as much praise and benefit as those who have busted their rear ends. Those who get promoted over persons more deserving because of who they know or favors they are willing to do for their superiors.

Those who truly believe that their needs are more important than those of the organization or those who they work and ride with. I ask one question — WHAT ARE YOU HERE FOR?

If you are here for the right reasons, you are COMMITTED to the success of the organization and it’s members! You are here to preserve the safety of those in your community and to keep their property safe. It is not about being a social club. It is about developing long lasting relationships and a FAMILY like environment with some VERY SPECIAL PEOPLE who share a common bond.

Those who are willing to sacrifice of themselves to ensure that those who live around them can sleep in comfort at night knowing that if they are in danger, someone cares enough to come to their aid. THOSE who will knowingly place themselves on harms way for someone that they have never met. A small child or an older person … it makes no difference.

It makes no difference about the color of their skin or their religious preference or their economic background…THEY ALL GET HELP when they dial those magic numbers.

The question is — WHO ARE YOU?

Do you just run calls or do you participate in all activities that you possibly can to ensure the success of your organization? Fund Raising — who do you think is gonna pay for the nice shiny ding dings that you ride? The extra things that you want for the station. The classes that you want to go to. The community events that we all participate in. DO YOU VOLUNTEER to go? If you are working, do you complain when you are detailed to such an event? WHY?

Is it not important for us to get out in the community and be seen? If you are a volunteer … does the community know it? How do you expect them to support you if you if they don’t know who you are and what you need?

Are you just wearing the t shirt and riding around looking cool or is YOUR HEART and YOUR HEAD really in the game?

DON’T HOLLER and COMPLAIN if your organization is floundering if you aren’t holding up your end. and by the way — if you are really helping to get things done, remember that your reward is the success of your department. PRIDE and OWNERSHIP comes from within. OWN IT PEOPLE! After all … it is your organization.

LEADERS, every now and then, give your people a pat on the back. They deserve it. Everybody play by the rules.

It is all about two things … RESPECT and RESPONSIBILITY. Respect your department and it’s members and follow the rules. They are there for a reason. If you screw up, take responsibility for your actions. We are human and we make mistakes. Be a grown up and hold your hand up high. I DID IT … FIX IT.

It is not about YOU! It is about your organization and it’s mission to serve.


What are you here for? Comment with your thoughts in the comment section below

Written by First Arriving


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