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A Fire Chief's Advice On How to Be a Great Firefighter

A Fire Chief's Advice On How to Be a Great Firefighter

Vincent Dunn | Deputy Chief (Ret., Fire Department of New York)

6. Work for labor-management cooperation. You may have to work with a union official without compromising your management responsibilities.

This is tough to do but it’s the only way. If you become involved in an explosive labor-management situation, remember after the crisis is over we all have to work together again.

7. Balance your work in the fire service and your family. After you accomplish all your life goals and ambitions at work, you will then understand, like I did, you could not have accomplished it without their love and support.

8. A firefighter is a social worker with muscles. The fire service is physical social work. You help people by stretching hose lines and raising ladders.

9. The fire service does more than fight fires. We now are an all-purpose emergency service – fires, medical emergencies, auto extrication, drowning, hazmat, rope rescue, confined space collapse rescue, floods, and tornadoes. We do it all.

10. Specialize and teach. Learn one of the emergency service specialties very well. Become an expert in the subject, and then teach it to a new firefighter. As a friend of mine told me, "We all have an obligation to leave this fire service ‘better’ than it was when we joined

Good luck, stay safe and God bless you.