Not everyone is into putting stickers on their vehicles... Some might have a tendency to go a little overboard. Where do you stand on this? Do you have one or more fire department related stickers on your vehicle? Do you justify having the decals to prevent getting a ticket or do you just like stickers?
The only thing I have is a front license plate that has a fire/rescue scramble and Mike&Vanessa to the side. Nothing that identifies my dept on the car. And yes I drive everywhere I go like I got good sense. I'd hate to reflect bad on someone else's dept. by driving insane in their district. Just like I'd hate to reflect bad on my own dept. by driving insane.
License plate frames in front windshield for fire dept and county rescue squads. the only sticker I have is a D.A.D.D. sticker in back window... that stands for Dad's Against Daughters Dating.. my daughter loves that one ;)
My experience with bumper sticker fans has been, beyond the impulse to post the message; they often cant even back up the ideal with any kind of critical thinking. This is an article I once wrote about pasting mixed messages on your private vehicle.
On Public Image
In Lakewood, as I drove along southern Chautauqua County's fast food strip, I spotted a vehicle with a blue light. "Aha," says I. "A noble volunteer. An honorable public servant. A fellow fire fighter." When I catch up at a traffic light I get a sudden sense of shame and embarrassment. On the back window of his pick-up is one of those stickers of a nasty little brat with a brush cut. It sports a sinister snarl and, at the end of his fully extended arm, is a fully extended middle finger. Why me? I have actively served the fire service for 41 years. Why would a fellow firefighter randomly flick me off in public without even knowing I was there? What if I had been a young mother with a carload of kids? Why would he send them that message? Why would anyone want to tell the world "Hey, this blue light tells you I'm a volunteer firefighter and, by the way, f--- you!"
I was wrong. This is not a noble volunteer or an honorable public servant. This is just some unfortunate misguided soul who traded our years of hard-earned good public relations for whatever immediate gratification he had when he put the sticker on his truck.
Some of these little brats are in fire helmets and holding a charged line of their own creation that splatters into a puddle marked "YOU". Isn't that a clever message? Then there is the one where the same little brat in a fire helmet is standing over that classic old inscription: "We have bigger hoses."
Another truck in a parking lot had New York State plates and a big red light bar on the roof. On the rear window there was an American flag with the words "Proud to be an American". I could make out the top of a baby seat next to the driver. These things conjure up the image that the owner is a Fire Chief in New York State, a patriotic American and a daddy. However, long before the patriotic message comes into focus one sees the four inch white letters that spell out "Bite Me". So what message is this guy sending? Does he believe that patriotic people or responsible parents or Fire Chiefs or even grown-ups send that kind of message? Here is another public servant who put his little shocker sticker ahead of his responsibility to us and to the public. Does he represent the Fire Chiefs in his state?
Are these the messages we want to present and be remembered by? The public we serve does not deserve these anonymous insults. Neither does the fire service that is sincere about promoting a healthy relationship with the public.
It is argued that we cannot legislate good taste or good judgment. However, we are certainly within our rights to require our department members to represent us in a positive way.
If you think that, because it may be a personal vehicle, it is none of my business, think again. When you put a blue (or red) light on that personal vehicle you identify yourself as one of us and there is an absolute responsibility that goes with that identity. When you embarrass the fire service by posting an insult to the public on that same vehicle, you are still identified as one of us. I'm in the fire service and that makes it very much my business. It is also the business of every rookie who just fulfilled a dream by joining this traditionally honorable service. It is the business of everyone in your department and in every fire department everywhere. In this brotherhood, the greatest relevance "you" or "I" have is how we relate to the greater "us". Perhaps most importantly, it is the business of your own chief. He is the one empowered to make you choose between the sticker and the blue light. One of them must go.
When people choose to join us, they should know that we have standards. Every time one of those insults is spotted on one of our vehicles, the public image of our fire service slips backward one more step. One vehicle can equal thousands of steps.
That little voice in your head that told you to put that sticker on your vehicle was dead wrong. Get rid of that little brat and make us all proud.
Thanks. We need all the good responsible help we can get.