Recently I was looking at some old pictures from my younger years in the fire service and the people that trained me and that I had the honor to fight fires with. It made me think, am I doing all I can to help the next generation of fire fighters? Yes technology has changed the way we attack fires, ventilate, and even our extrication techniques have changed, but if you stay up on your training you still have a duty to pass on what you have learned from training and from years of being a firefighter. Who will be the next leaders in your department when it is time for you to move on? Are they ready to lead and command a scene? If the answer is yes then you have done your job and you should be proud. If you said no, then you, we have failed. Us old guys have learned special ways to make that old pumper pull a prime and pump away, we have experience on how a building will act when on fire. The little trick on how to force a certain door, are tricks that we need to help train our next group of firefighters.
I have had the pleasure to meet so many firefighters old and young, and so many are my friends. Being a member of the FFAM is much more than having a card. It is a very special group of people, who just like us want to be the best that they can be. This organization gives us those tools, through networking around the state with our directors, your relation with the State Fire Marshal’s office, and with the MU Fire and Rescue Training Institute just for starters. We need to use these tools thru the FFAM to train and help our fellow firefighters, our new leaders in the fire service. To all of the members, please use these tools, call your directors if you need anything. They are in place to help you and your department. That is there duty, as for me, to answer the question if I am helping teach and pass on my teaching and experience to our new leaders. No I haven’t, I need to work harder and reach out to my fellow firefighters with the tricks of the trade as it were. To pass on what it means to be a member of the FFAM, to be a firefighter.