On the road of life there are many positive courses of action that can be taken. As we all have come to understand, there are positive outcomes as well as negative ones. The choices we all make each and every day play a huge part in where the road takes us. What thoughts, actions, and decisions are we making to ensure that we will arrive at our desired destination? What do you seek in life?
The title of this article asks a very profound question.
Let's examine how we can become better at becoming a seeker rather than a peeker.
Seek Knowledge & Wisdom
Some may say that the fire service is heading down the wrong road. There appears to be a line in the sand in terms of where the destination must be. The us versus them mentality. Why?
We should all become better at listening to others points of view. We should all become better at listening with the intent to understand rather than the intent to reply. Merely peeking into a portion of a message, training tactic or thoughts of action is a disservice to all. It's counterproductive and damaging to the end game, the destination.
How will you seek knowledge and wisdom?
Seek Mental & Physical Fitness
There is a growing epidemic within the fire service. Our mental and physical fitness levels are declining. Why are we allowing this to happen to ourselves? We preach brotherhood but fail to live up to the actions of what is expected of a brotherhood.
Suicide and substance abuse are climbing at alarming rates. Are we truly our brother's keepers or are we just peeking into the problem and hiding within the shadows.
90 Percent of what we do as firefighters and first responders occurs off of the fire ground or emergency scene but we focus solely on the 10 percent of the actions we perform the least.
Gordon Graham says it best. We are focusing on the high frequency /low risk events when we should be focusing on the high risk/ low frequency events.
When was the last time you went to the gym? When was the last time you did a push up or got your heart rate up to improve your cardio profile? Our fitness levels are a direct result of recent LODD.
In NJ alone there were 9 firefighter line of duty deaths and 8 of them were due to health reasons. This is unacceptable.
How will you seek to improve your mental and physical health? What are you prepared to do?
Seek Technical & Tactical Proficiency
This is where we must focus on our fire ground strategy and tactics. The 10 percent of what we do. The opportunities to train are out there but many refuse to take advantage. There are great people within the fire service that take much of their free time and money to research not only the "new" and exciting techniques but the very basics of firefighting as well.
When was the last time you took in a training class that wasn't mandatory? When was the last time you decided to learn something new or reinforce what you already know?
My fire service brother Mike Daley recently published an article on Firehouse.com titled: Are you good enough? If our answer to this question is anything other than a resounding "no", I fear that complacency has shown its ugly head yet again.
Are we seeking continuous improvement or are we peeking at our computer screens honing our skills as armchair snipers. Choose to become technically and tactically proficient with learning how to do our jobs safer not tearing others apart because they might have a different perspective of where the destination might be.
How will you seek continuous improvement? What is your destination?