What I wish my fire chief knew about me

Some readers said they wish their chief understood their level of commitment, while others expressed their gratitude and respect


Respect and trust is vital for any type of successful relationship.

The same stands true for those in the fire service. When you enter a burning building, you want to trust that the guy or girl behind you has your back in case of an emergency. You also want to trust that your fire chief has you and your crews' best interest in mind.

In return, any superior, including a fire chief, deserves your respect and vice versa.

Respect and trust is vital for any type of successful relationship.
Respect and trust is vital for any type of successful relationship. (Photo/City of Alexandria, Va)

We asked our fans on Facebook what they wish their fire chief knew about them. Here are some of their responses.

If you haven't already, be sure to add your thoughts in the comment section.

  1. "Many forget the impact their decisions have on their firefighters, the grunt of their operation. I feel they often forget how to space out classroom learning and hands-on learning. While it is important to continue learning, as a full-time college student, I struggle to come to drill after attending class all day just to sit in a chair and be lectured for another few hours. While certifications are important, they mean absolutely nothing if the firefighter cannot efficiently retain the information and then apply it." — Vinnie Donaghey
  2. "That in a volunteer department setting we understand that you take the time and effort away from your job, family and social life to make sure that we are effectively doing our job, as well as safely doing it to return to our own families. You correct our mistakes, take time to write grants to better our department to help our community. That we appreciate you for your true leadership even if we feel you are being a hard ass, you are doing it for all involved. We follow your leadership, and even if you do not know this about us, we appreciate all that you do chief." — Crystal McAllister
  3. "That I care about the job more than they'll ever know. It isn't just a career and paycheck to me. This is a lifestyle and I'm addicted to it. Let's work hard all day and every day." — Ben Gallardo 
  4. "I would like my chief to know how proud I am to be a part of our team. I would also like chief to know how much respect I have for him [and] his willingness to lead by example, take time and teach, and be there sometimes to just listen — especially after a hard call. I have such tremendous respect for the man and really hope that someday I will be as great a firefighter, leader and or part of our team. My chief is what I believe all firefighters should be." — Joe Scott
  5. "Some calls haunt us even though we may never speak of them." — Jreck Leduc
  6. "I want my chief to know that he's doing a great job and thanks for believing in me enough to assign me to the training officer role." — Jason Forrester
  7. "I wish some of my chief's from years ago realized that not everyone had what it takes to walk into the beast with just an inch and a half, in full gear. Our lives depend on each other. In the early ‘80s, on more than one occasion, I turned around to look back to check on my probie to find him gone. Even today we have kids who want to be interior guys, but aren't there yet. As a chief, we have to evaluate a person's abilities. It's OK, no it's necessary, to sometimes say, "you aren't ready yet." The lives [depending on] that decision might very well be theirs or another's. Some may never be ready, but that's OK. We have ground tasks that have to be tended to." — Scott M. Doyle
  8. "To listen to those of us who know more about something — regardless of rank and position." — Matt Chastain

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