FR1 community: What every new firefighter should know

Facebook fans want new, aspiring firefighters to know to listen, respect veterans, keep learning, be team player, love the lifestyle

FireRescue1 asked our Facebook fans to dispel their sagest advice to rookie firefighters or anyone interested in going into the firefighting field. We received answers ranging from "Put the wet stuff on the red stuff" to "Stay away in this economy," but a few consistent tenets held throughout the thread. Here are some of the highlights, but feel free to add your own tips to newbies in the member comments section.

Q. What is the one piece of advice you would give to new or wannabe firefighters?

A. Listen.

AP Photos
AP Photo

"Just one piece? That's tough... how about listen -- listen to your superiors, listen to your crew, listen to the environment around you, listen to the victims and listen to your heart. Do that and everything else will fall into place." -Chris Doyle

"Shut up and pay attention." -Stuart J. Reynolds

"[You have] one mouth and two ears for a reason!" -Art Klingler

A. Respect your elders.

AP Photos
AP Photo

"Respect the old heads, they've earned it. Don't expect the old heads to respect you, you haven't yet earned it. That respect means you are the first to volunteer to help cook, help clean, and don't get upset if an old head doesn't. Listen to them; they know more than you." -Ken Henke

"Listen to the veterans. You may have read all about it but they have done it many times." -Jared R Hitchcock

"Never think you know everything. And listen to what the older firemen say, because that advice could save your life one day." -Anthony Chambers

A. Never stop learning.

AP Photos
AP Photo

"Train like your life depends on it, because it does." -Jay Morrissey

"The first day you don't learn something new, QUIT!" -Ethan Little

"Always train. You can never ever know everything there is to know in the service. Things are always changing." -Billy Banta

"New firefighters with a know-it-all attitude will get people killed. Not all calls will be same. After 14 years in the service I'm still learning." -Tanya Nelson

"Just because you're fresh out of the academy DOES NOT make you god's gift, and YOU DON'T know everything. Learn and listen. It'll come in handy." -Aaron Weiss


A. Be a team player...

AP Photos
AP Photo

"I'm at one year so far, but I'd make sure a newer guy would never forget that it's not about you, it's about whatever is on fire or whoever is in trouble." -Tyler Morris

"Remember YOU have your buddy's back and he has yours... you are a team, it's NOT just you." -John A. Lutz

"We will all get along, we're like a family, we're best friends. We might have to be sad sometimes, we might not get along sometimes, but altogether we're a team! A team of firefighters!" -Tom Nestor

"This isn't a one man job -- 2 IN 2 OUT ALWAYS AND FOREVER." -Rebecca Smith

A. But take care of yourself.

AP Photos
AP Photo

"When the sh*t hits the fan, check your own pulse first!!!" -Coby Surritte

"Be in good health and stay in shape. Don't get a big head, and don't think you are invincible because the day you do will be the day your family gets notified you didn't make it." -Ryan Claypool

"You've been given that $1,000 worth of PPE for a reason, wear it. And don't duct-tape a flashlight to your helmet." -Justin Magill

A. Remember that firefighting is a lifestyle.

AP Photos
AP Photo

"Be sure it's what you want to do. It's complicated and time consuming. It's a stress on you and your family." -Ryan Claypool

"Make sure it's what you wanna do. Otherwise, you're just wasting everyone's time, not to mention your own. If you want to do it, give it your all." -Jerrold Thomas Moore ‎

"Please don't just be on to say you're a firefighter, or for the money. It's not about either of those two. It's about brotherhood and helping others... It never gets old." -Matthew Tomey

"Be dedicated. Be a brother. Get your fill of it. Live for the moment, love every minute of it. But remember, the day you wake up one morning and say to yourself, "I've done enough, it's time to walk away," then you've done enough. It's time to walk away." -Kevin Larriviere

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