August 20, 2019

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You Are Not “Just a Volunteer” Firefighter

Gordon Graham
Category: Fire

Gordon Graham here with Today’s Tip from Lexipol. Today’s Tip is for my friends who serve as volunteer firefighters. Today I am going to address the job you do as volunteers. 

Volunteer firefighters continue one of America’s greatest traditions of public safety service.

First, thank you for your service. Volunteer firefighters continue one of America’s greatest traditions of public safety service.  

I don’t have to tell you that a fire doesn’t care if you’re volunteering your time or being paid. And someone in need of emergency medical treatment won’t care either. What matters is how well you perform. And how well you perform depends on several thingsincluding your training. 

There are significant demands on your time. Not only do you have to respond to calls, but you also have to maintain your equipment. Stay physically fit. And you have to train. You probably struggle to balance this commitment with your time with family and friends. And most of you also have to manage a full-time job. 

I’d like to offer a few suggestions.  

First, it’s important to find a reasonable work-life balance. You can’t focus on a call if you’re thinking about how you aren’t seeing your family enough. Or about the demands of your job.  

Second, remember to include enough time for training. And when you’re training, give 100 percent. You will rely on your training in an emergency. And you never know when you’re going to need it.  

And third, please don’t ever utter the words, “I’m just a volunteer.” The word “just” minimizes your important contributions. And it is sometimes used as an excuse not to train. Don’t allow that attitude creep in.  

We depend on volunteer firefighters all over the country. We have for a very long time. And thank you again for all that you do.  

And that’s Today’s Tip from Lexipol. Gordon Graham signing off. 


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