Job Talk - February Story


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Shared by: Henry M., Fire Lieutenant

As a young fireman I was told. Be careful of the image you leave with the public and always treat their home as yours. A few years later I made lieutenant and was now the one giving advice.

Fast forwarding 12 years and we are sitting at the table talking and the new guy tells us. Bet you don’t remember but your the reason I came to the job. I asked how so? He began to tell how he was 8 when their house caught fire and they had lost everything. We knew the house was going to be a total loss but I ordered my men to save the Christmas gifts like we always do and cover everything during overhaul operations. When we found that most of the gifts were damaged beyond repair and we went and bought more at 3am. It seemed to be a routine fire for us but the impression on his life was so profound he is now making memories for the future generations. I guess the big takeaway is always treat the places you go as yours and you will always leave a lasting impression.


  • Peter

    I am hoping the new generation will pick up on this more. I have been disappointed several times in the last few years that I have had to counsel more of them on this topic. I bring out a folder of thank you notes, and point out that 99% of them refer to, “you gave my mom a blanket,” " you shoveled and sanded the walk," much like the Christmas gift story, versus, I was amazed at your medical skills, or the like.

  • Connie

    When I was on our department I was the public education person ( firespeak for P. R. person). I always told the guys and girls that it isn’t the big exciting calls that make the lasting public impressions it’s actually the seemingly little things that you think are routine. The fire truck at the child’s birthday party, the firehouse tour, etc. that makes the lasting impressions.

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