From my blog at Firehouse Zen:

What have we learned in 2008? Are we better off here on the threshold of 2009 having experienced so much in the last year? Or are we destined to repeat our mistakes? Are we advocating better cardiac fitness for our troops? Are we beating the seatbelt issue into their heads on a daily basis? Are we telling them that it’s silly to fight fire without using proper PPE and are we telling them that unoccupied buildings aren’t worth jeopardizing their lives over?

Are we using better methods for finding fires? Are we using more modern technologies for communicating on the fireground or at the scene of disasters? Are our communications systems interoperable and are we even speaking the same language?

Are we any closer to a National Mutual Aid Box Alarm System? How about working with the military on domestic disaster issues? Are we getting the typing and credentialing issues resolved? As much as we have learned about ourselves, our industry, and the environment in which we operate, how much of it has translated into positive change for the good of our service?

How much is dependent upon funds that are being eliminated? How much is dependent upon that ill-educated politician? How much of our mission is being sacrificed by the self-serving and the egotistical for their own gains?
If we can open our eyes in 2009, and we can look past our own needs and look to the greater good, the communities in which we serve and the brotherhood of the fire service, if we can put our egos aside and agree to work together, career and volunteer, rural and urban, North and South, East Coast and West Coast, labor and management, we can achieve greatness.

The fire service is as unified as it is finely divided. Until we can put aside our differences to realize that we DO have some common ground, and focus on solving those core issues, we will continue to fight these same battles. What’s more, we’ll be fighting them generations from now (if we still exist), because we have been fighting them for generations heretofore.

Have we really learned from our experiences? Or are we doomed to repeat the past? I guess 2009 will tell.

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Comment by Terry Smith on January 27, 2009 at 3:23pm
A very important topic, and well stated by all!

It is imperative that we all work together as one! After all, it is a "Brotherhood/Sisterhood" service. One for all and all for one! There can be no other way!
Comment by Mary Ellen Shea on January 1, 2009 at 2:46am
Asking the difficult questions won't win you any popularity contests, but I laud you for keeping it real.
You, Tiger and Art are my fire service gurus, and you write the posts that instill the thought process.

Thanks Mick----for caring, for sharing, for asking the hard questions.
Happy 2009.
Oxen
Mel
Comment by Jim Seargent on December 31, 2008 at 1:47pm
Isn't that witch?
Comment by Mick Mayers on December 31, 2008 at 1:43pm
Jim: Which, "esprit de corps" or "wright"? :)
Comment by Jim Seargent on December 31, 2008 at 1:18pm
Did I spell that wright?
Comment by Jim Seargent on December 31, 2008 at 1:18pm
Why is it not obvious to all involved, that although we have come far, we can go so much further. If we could muster an ounce of collective esprit de corps?
Comment by Shawn Davis on December 31, 2008 at 12:50pm
Happy New Year all;

I am about to enter the Chiefs ranks tomorrow...I was wondering if anyone could give me some advise as to how I should proceed. I wil be the Third assistant chief is a department of 90 plus members 3 companies with 3 officers each and two squads with 3 officers each. Any and all advise will be greatly appreciated.

Thank you for you input, be safe and remember everyone comes home every daqy every alarm

Shawn
Comment by Jeff Betz on December 30, 2008 at 9:26pm
Good stuff MIck. It's rather funny how some topics hit the target so well, and it seems as if we have talked recently, and you just put it into words for others. I just had a discussion with some of our guys about a few of these things this last week. Again, well done, I hope we are wide open this year.
Comment by Ben Waller on December 30, 2008 at 8:39pm
Mick,

Thanks for once again shining the thermal imaging camera of blogging on important concepts.
It beats groping around in the dark - literally.

Ben
Comment by lutan1 on December 30, 2008 at 5:45pm
The fire service is as unified as it is finely divided. Until we can put aside our differences to realize that we DO have some common ground, and focus on solving those core issues, we will continue to fight these same battles. What’s more, we’ll be fighting them generations from now (if we still exist), because we have been fighting them for generations heretofore.
Well said...

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