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Creating a legacy in public safety

In this video, risk management expert Gordon Graham encourages first responders to consider the impact of their time in the fire service

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Gordon Graham here with Today’s Tip from Lexipol. And Today’s Tip is for everybody in public safety.

Let’s take a trip down memory lane. Think back to when you graduated from the police or fire academy. After graduation, you probably entered some type of field training program. Many different senior officers or firefighters showed you the ropes. Some probably stood out more than others.

Although you learned something from them all, which ones had the most profound impact on your career today? Are they retired? Does their legacy still leave a lasting impression on you, your peers, or the agency?

I’m guessing that once you were released into the wild, the experiences of those veteran members and the legacies they left behind contributed to how you conduct business today.

Which brings me to an obvious question. What do you want your legacy to be?

Your legacy doesn’t evolve through want or desire. It evolves from what you do, naturally. That means doing the right things, exhibiting positive behaviors, and constantly working outside of your own self-interests.

It means setting the proper example all of the time. Helping your crew when they need guidance. Seeking personal enrichment. Knowing and following your agency’s policies. Continuously learning. And above all, taking care of yourself so you are adequately equipped to take care of others.

Over the years, I’ve met thousands and thousands of dedicated professionals who regularly give 100% day in and day out. Public safety professionals are a unique breed of human beings. They don’t do this job for recognition or status. They do it because they want to be part of something bigger than themselves.

Think about the legacy you’re going to leave behind when you retire.

How do you really want to be remembered?

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

Gordon Graham has been actively involved in law enforcement since 1973. He spent nearly 10 years as a very active motorcycle officer while also attending Cal State Long Beach to achieve his teaching credential, USC to do his graduate work in Safety and Systems Management with an emphasis on Risk Management, and Western State University to obtain his law degree. In 1982 he was promoted to sergeant and also admitted to the California State Bar and immediately opened his law offices in Los Angeles.