Having family members on the department along with my fiancee, I'd have to say it's getting THE visit or call we often think about but put no voice to---now that my fiancee and I are so far apart, while temp it's even worse. I hear of a fire or incident on the news in that area and I freak.
leaving my 3 lil kids alone. It stays in the back of my head every time we get toned out. Other thatn that I trust all the ppl i work with and know that murphy is always there to kick your ass but th=ry and make it on your terms not his whenever possible.
I know this discussion has been going around for a while, but reading over the posts the other day, got me thinking about this, so I had to come back and write. Like many out there, I have lived some of your fears, and appreciate your concerns.
Want to see me freak: (spider in mask), and I constantly worry that I round a curve with the Engine and find the Rescue, with my wife inside involved in a accident.
But as the years pass, I worry more about the actions I take as an Officer and Instructor.
1. Am I staying current on procedures and techniques that keep my people "safer" onscene.
2. In training, is my approach (style) getting through. Is the message understood?
3. Do my actions at the station, training ground and scene reflect that message?
4. Am I preparing them for command, not just in doing the deed, but having the mind set to take care of their crew, and the courage to keep them from doing something they don't like or understand at the time.
I guess what got me thinking along these lines was a situation that occurred a couple of years ago, when I was at a department in the state doing training on Positive Pressure Attack. A couple of weeks after the class, one of the Officers in the class called me to let me know they had used it the night before and were really pleased with how it worked. I was of course pleased, and patted myself on the back for being such an awesome instructor! But what if that call had gone the other way. What if I had been having a bad day, put minimum effort forth, or failed to cover something for the sake of getting it done.
They say age brings wisdom, but, I think it's more about having time to learn from past mistakes. We tend to remember all the positives we do, but we really do need to ask ourselves occasionally, "What is your greatest fear" and apply it to all aspects of our job and life.
Sorry, didn't mean to run on like this, but if it helps, I made a fresh pot of coffee! Jim
I think this is an excellent point. I often find myself pondering similar questions as an EMS officer:
Am I leading by example? Am I going that extra mile with every patient or just doing "enough" to get by?
It is so easy to not check that glucose or not start an IV or leave the truck dirty because you are tired or feeling lazy. But what we do will reflect what our members do. "If the officer thought it was ok, it's ok for me to do too!" We no longer have the latitude to have a "lazy day". We must go the extra mile in every situation.
So, yes... my greatest fears as an EMS officer are:
Am I letting my members down? Am I letting my patients down?
Am I learning from my mistakes?
Am I teachable? The day I "know everything" is the day I need to be out of this profession.
Am I doing the right thing or just the easy thing?
Am I keeping my crew safe? This includes teaching proper documentation, training etc...
Am I teaching them to succeed and be the best they can be or just enough to "get by"?
The list could keep going...
I'm glad you brought this up. It's a good reminder to re-evaluate our fears and ourselves...
My greatest fear is losing one of my Firefighters in the line of duty (in all the variations). Despite the training and practice we do together, despite the War Gaming, and Planning, and Simulations -- It Could Happen. The Fire Wants to Kill us, The Building Wants to trap us, The Driver Wants to crush us. I wake up thinking "Am I missing something that could give us an edge?"
Well put. I was recently classified as a "Subject Matter Expert" by LSU on Ventilation, Building Construction and Extrication. I really hated that! To be considered an "Expert" in any facet of Fire and Rescue says you know everything there is to know.
I try to learn something new every time I broach a subject, and not just from research. Even a raw recruit can bring up a question that can change your perspective of a situation or task. Recently, one of our other instructors brought up a situation that occurred while working as Captain on Shift. He told the rookie on the crew to "cut the power" to the building. Fortunately, the Engineer caught him before he could get the axe off the truck!
A simple, everyday command was not understood. We can't shortcut on anything!
Their lives are in "Our Hands".