The fire service is full of traditions. This blog by JD will get you off to a good start. No matter what department you work for. Follow JD suggestion and you can go from” rookie to one of the guys” and have the respect of your fellow firefighters.
In your honor.
P.S. Keep the wet stuff on the red stuff.
-Never “pencil whip” your truck check. Every cabinet, every piece of equipment, every morning.
-You will be the last to sit to eat, and the first to get up and do the dishes. BTW, your seat will have no view of the TV.
-2 ears and one mouth. Listen until asked to talk for the first few months. Choose you conversations carefully, and never start out with: “my first/other fire department does it different…..”
-Unless life depends on it, don’t talk over the radio.
-Don’t offer any fire tactic or strategic solutions. You are their probie no matter how long you did the job elsewhere.
-Know your role by asking. Ask the shift officer where he expects you on a variety of calls. Later in the day ask the same thing of the senior man and see if they match.
-Learn how to cook at least 3 meals for 5-10 men. BTW, they will tell you it taste terrible as they go for seconds…
-Always volunteer for the public appearances. Fire safety talks for the kids, a station tour, or any other event where a firefighter is requested.
-Take initiative on everything from house work, vehicle checks, daily drill and anything else that needs done. If you are truly at a loss for what can be done ask someone.
-Beware of the station “Sissy”! He will be easy to spot. He is usually detached from the rest of the group and usually in a bad mood. This guy has all the complaints but usually none of the answers. You will be guilty by association by spending any idle time around him.
-Don’t suck up to the boss. Be respectful and follow orders to the letter, but don’t be another rug under the Chiefs/Capt/Lt’s desk.
-Work out every shift if your run volume and station allows. This job is physical and you should respect that.
-Use lunch time to study instead of sleep. You’re too young to be tired at noon!
-Money is easy to carry. Put a ten or twenty in your pocket before shift. No one likes an I.O.U. for dinner. An occasional ice cream or bagels for the shift doesn’t hurt either.
-Before you retire for the night, clean up the living quarters, kitchen and empty the trash. You don’t want the next shift deciding your reputation the next morning.
-Don’t let your first year be your best. Stay motivated by posting your 3,5,10 year goals at home. Where only you can see them and work towards them.
-Keep a journal. This is going be a great career.
– After a few weeks or months, feel free to bust balls. Just remember who you are. There is a pecking order.
In years past these things seemed to be just part of the job, but as I see it these days we need to have most things spelled out. Earn your way, do your time, and pass it on when you are the one with less/grey hair. The work is the reward so get to it!