Modern Firefighter Behavior

The fire service is filled with information about modern fire behavior these days. Have we considered the importance of understanding the modern firefighter’s behavior?

Do we recognize the signs of a hurting brother or sister?

Coming alongside another who is hurting takes one of understanding. It requires empathy over sympathy for the injured party to confide or open up to us. In other words, we have to be able to relate. Simply put, Firefighters feel comfortable talking with other firefighters.

The moment of adversity, tragedy, or conflict that we face is not solved by another who can come along side us. It is eased by the comfort of those who have faced this before. Anyone who is married understands that if their wife comes to them with a problem, most of the time she doesn’t want them to solve it; she wants her husband to listen to her and show that he cares.

We as firefighters, come along side others in their moment of crisis with a unique perspective. We have probably seen it, been through it, or experienced this moment in a variety of ways: personally, professionally, or from a support role.

Whether we realize it or not: We are the “hands and feet of Jesus” in a world that often doesn’t care about others.

We show up and help our “neighbors”. Thus this principle and innate drive to serve should compel us to help our brothers and sisters who are struggling.

Galatians 6:2 Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.

We have to practice the principles of situational awareness in our own fire stations and lives. We must be vigilant to the cues or signs of a co-worker who is struggling.

Consider this:

If we are driving back to the station from a call and see a house on fire we don’t keep driving; we take action and go to work. We can apply the same principles of reading smoke to reading our co-workers.

We learn that in reading smoke that turbulent smoke is indicative of high heat, high pressure/velocity that can lead to thermal insult quickly. If we are around a co-worker who has signs of turbulent behavior, it shouldn’t surprise us when we hear of some tragic circumstance later.

We are taught to read the building, read the smoke, understand critical fire ground factors, and to continuously monitor conditions as we apply our strategy and tactics. This same concept can apply to our co-workers and family.

We are the best judge of our family’s health because we know them better than anyone else.

If we see signs of instability, withdrawal, difficulty concentrating, making unsafe or dangerous decisions, then we should speak up. Don’t crawl past fire! Put it out. Let us take our loved one or co-worker aside and tell them that we care. As a firefighter responds to a call for help, we should respond to the call for help from our brothers and sisters around us.

God Bless,

Andrew Starnes
Bringing Back Brotherhood MInistries

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