Some of you may remember my blog about not knowing when I became the one that the new kids looked to for answers to their questions about fire fighting, but that over the years I had gone from being the one asking all the questions to the one being asked. It was recently brought home to me that I am the one with the experience, when in a class we were asked to give our names and how long ago we started in the fire service. When it was my turn I gave my name and when I said I started in 1982, one of the kids said I was born in 1982 and another said he wasn't even born until 1988. I told both of them that I didn't want to hear any jokes about being old. It also occured to me that while we were in the same class learning the same thing, I had also gained a wealth of experience and that it is now my job to pass along that experience to the younger fire fighters, as it was passed on to me. I don't want to give anyone the idea that I know it all, on the contrary it seems I learn something new all the time, but I do know quite a bit and I have come to the point in my career that I enjoy passing along my knowledge and I believe that it is the responsibility of veteran fire fighters to pass along their knowledge and experience. We as veterans have gained this experience through long hours of training, fighting fires and dealing with the medical and rescue calls. We have earned our stripes and while the new guys have to earn theirs, we can make it easier on them and make them better fire fighters by passing on our experience. We as fire fighters have a long tradition of handing down our knowledge, and experience, and we need to make sure that the tradition continues. I know that sometimes it's difficult to deal withthe newest generation of fire fighters coming up, but remember that they joined the fire service for probably the same reasons that we did, and that desire to help and make a difference in the community we serve , is basic to all of us.
As far as me passing on my experience, I have become a training officer, and an instructor. On the fire scene I am willing to give up the nozzle, and show the new fire fighters how to attack a fire. Don't let all the years we have spent gaining this valuable experience go to waste. Pass it on to the new generation, even if it takes the paitence of Job, and I promise it will be worth every minute.