RELATIONSHIPSFirehouseHow do We Maintain Our Love for the Job?

How do We Maintain Our Love for the Job?

By: Dr. Lindsay Judah CFO, CTO

From a broad perspective, it is essential that our industry remains relevant and strives to meet the needs of our respective communities. Relevancy is often associated with funding approval and municipal support. There are several ways to increase awareness and involvement which may lend toward our goal of maintaining our love for the job. 

Many states have city and county management associations, as well as the International City/County Management Association (ICMA). For example, the Florida City and County Management Association (FCCMA) offers opportunities to connect with city and county administrators, as well as podcasts, scholarships, and webinars. Becoming a member is inexpensive and student membership is available. Additional involvement in this approach includes attending local council, neighborhood, and/or volunteer association meetings. Consider participating in opportunities such as Habitat for Humanity®, Meals on Wheels, or Paint Your Heart Out. These can be individual endeavors, however, they can also offer teambuilding with a crew, station or organization-level involvement. “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’” -Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Leadership programs and interoperability within your department

Actively participating in local government and learning more about different activities and processes can be enlightening. Acquiring a greater insight can aid in a clearer understanding of interoperability between different departments within a city/county, as well as a more focused sense of competing demands within the EMS & Fire agencies. Some city/county agencies offer local leadership programs that provide a curriculum with interactive opportunities for discussion, networking, and identifying available resources. As shared in a 2022 ICMA article, “Political acumen requires situational knowledge across a diversity of municipal landscapes.” 

Another area of involvement firefighters often find rewarding is supporting initiatives with their Local. The International Association of Fire Fighters was founded in 1918 on the premise to, “decide the salary of officers, set common goals to live and work with dignity, with care for their safety and concern for their families.” Union participation often includes local and state, community, and government interactions, such as gatherings on the hill, or at the Capitol. IAFF may partner with a Local and offer hands-on training, such as Fire Ground Survival. This is an exceptional course in which instructors recognize and refer to NIOSH LODD incidents. 

How can we renew our love for our job?

Maintaining our love for the job may require looking outside of your organization and surrounding yourself with others who love the job. This doesn’t necessarily mean that your peers or those you work alongside don’t love the job, it may just mean that they’re in a different season of their career or are addressing familial needs which can take away from their capacity to connect. There are numerous opportunities to participate at the local, state, and national levels.

Mentorship within your organization

Within the organization, it is important to remember that as much as you may want mentorship and leadership, there is likely personnel watching you and wanting to learn more from you. There is an opportunity for those who love the job, to pass it on. Spend time with those around you and share what has worked for you and what may work for them to succeed and to enjoy the job. 

Three takeaways on maintaining our love for the job: Develop healthy habits, focus on the things that are most important to you, and strive for excellence in work and life. “Be Nice.” -Chief Brunacini

Photo by Stephen Baer

Contests & Promotions

Burn Box promotion/contest
West Broad Contest
devil dog promotions
Fire Science Nutrition Contest/Promotion