Now that we’ve said goodbye to another year, people around the world are either beginning, or beginning to fail, their New Year’s Resolutions. We all make these resolutions for one reason or another; we do this because we want to better ourselves in a particular area for the coming year. It’s a way to start over for the first time.
Whether it’s for your health, fitness, eating habits, relationships, career, business goals, reading, prayer, church attendance – the list can go on and on.
There is no such thing as a bad New Year’s Resolution. It’s something you’ve decided you need to do for your personal life. But as firefighters, we need to look at not only our personal resolutions, but also what helps us improve ourselves on the job.
Fitness Resolutions for Firefighters
If you’re a firefighter, one way of looking at a New Year’s Resolution is to start with your training. How involved are you on duty or even off duty? Do you feel there is more you can do to improve or just get started?
The concept of training always seems to fall on the station officer or someone at the administrative level. The truth is that it’s every firefighter’s responsibility to maintain these perishable skills that we need to be productive and effective in our careers. Even something like a tabletop discussion will help us learn something new each day – especially since firefighters could solve most of the world’s problems while sitting around a kitchen table or with a cup of coffee.
Making the choice to improve training can also be a way to improve physical abilities on the fire ground. We can all find ways to make this element of our lives more interesting, rather than submitting to death by PowerPoint or lecture. This is when it’s time to be creative and challenging.
Start by doing more training in gear to add the realism of movements, feel, and change in dexterity you would experience during a response call. We always feel we train hard, yet most of us don’t train in gear. And, while it does get hot, the gear can be a hassle to put on, and there’s always the risk that you’ll get a call when full-gear training, the fact is that turnout gear is what protects our lives while we try to help protect others.
Ultimately, incorporating full turnout gear training often will help the crew work and function more efficiently on the fire ground.
Family Resolutions for Firefighters
Being a firefighter is more than just a career for us. It is part of who we are, how we live our life, and how our family lives as well. Our families miss out on having us at events, birthdays, family gatherings, and many other things – the same as we do when on duty.
Our families sacrifice in different ways, but they still sacrifice because of our calling to be a firefighter and help others. Take the time as part of your resolution to thank your families for their support of you, your career, your crew, and your department.
The fire service itself is an extended family. We call each other brother and sister. Take this New Year of 2022 to earn the title of brother or sister firefighter by improving your abilities within your fire house and fire family. We have to rely on each other when the tones go off, so let’s put in the effort before that to be the best we can be at our job.
I’ll end with one last thing. Please be aware of how your brothers and sisters are dealing with the stress of the job, family, and life at times. If we aren’t there for each other in a time of need, we can’t be there for our communities when they need us.
Happy New Year, everyone.