Starting Out the New Year Right!

I originally wrote this piece back in 2002 but I feel it’s appropriate to re-visit it every year as we evaluate and re-align our outlook on life in the fire service.

My purpose for posting is not totally unselfish. I use this as an evaluation tool to examine my relationship with my fire department and the fire service at large, and make adjustments as necessary.

As I go through the various challenges that these relationships present from year to year, I find that these words are not as easy to live up to, at least in their entirety. Nonetheless, I use these reflections each year to perservere and re-dedicate myself to being a leader in the emergency services community. Hopefully these words will have the same impact on you.

Leave a comment. I’d love to hear your thoughts and experiences.

Happy New Year!

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Fix it.

Call it a mantra, a call-to-action or simply a New Years Resolution.

Every New Year brings new opportunities for all of us in the emergency services community. Along with that comes a whole new set of challenges. It’s a time to reflect and look inside our selves. Do we have it in us to go on? Are we up to the challenges that lay ahead?

Bravery isn’t displayed just on the fire scene. Some of the biggest obstacles you’ll ever face will be back at the firehouse, and you’ll need the nerve to overcome them.

Lyrics to the Mighty, Mighty Bosstones’ tune says, “I’m not a coward, I’ve just never been tested. I’d like to think that if I was, I would pass.”

Are you brave enough to make a difference? Do you have the courage to Fix It?

Read on and find the answers inside yourself.

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Fix it. Now.

To Whom It May Concern:

  • Now and always, we are either on the verge of greatness – or complete failure.
  • You will determine the outcome. The success of this fire department falls in your hands. But, this is not a burden – it’s an opportunity.
  • It is easier to give blame than it is to take responsibility. Therefore, before we can have good leaders, we must each learn to be good followers.
  • If ethics are violated and you don’t say anything, it’s your fault. If there’s stuff that’s broken and it doesn’t get fixed, it’s your fault. And this is not limited to physical items. Fix it – or alert someone who can.
  • Fortunately, each of us doesn’t have to do everything. Each of us only has to do something.
  • You as an individual, and all of us together as a team – have control of what goes on. We alone have the power to change the ways things are. No one is going to do it for us.
  • Don’t ever let anything, or anyone – prevent you from being the firefighter you want or need to be.

Be honest.  Be proud. Be relentless.
Show respect. Show integrity. Show enthusiasm.
Smile. Have fun. Motivate yourself.
Take responsibility. Take ownership. Take control.

It starts now.

Tiger Schmittendorf

Download and post Fix It. in your fire station.

  • Scott Zitzka

    Thanks Tiger

    I will be reading your article at our monthly meeting on Monday. It is very good timing for something like this.

    Have a great new year.

    Scott

  • Scott Zitzka

    Thanks Tiger

    I will be reading your article at our monthly meeting on Monday. It is very good timing for something like this.

    Have a great new year.

    Scott

  • champ

    Do you really want me to comment?

  • champ

    Do you really want me to comment?

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