I do not know but I began to realize it near the beginning of this blog when I posted this here: http://averagejakeff.wordpress.com/2010/06/13/where-is-the-camaraderie/ It is even more apparent now after I have gotten a different view of my own department.
However it really came to a head when I read this http://ironfiremen.com/2011/02/counting-backwards/
Now I have always told anyone that I do not recommend liking the fire department as much as I do. The fire department is great, in fact its one of the greatest things ever, but it can also be a cruel Mistress when you put your heart and soul into it only to have it torn out and stomped on. So while you may not love it, and you should have other interests going on (even I have other interests) we have far to many “paycheck collectors” and “backwards counters” in our midst all over the nation.
Now the world takes all kinds of people to make it go around and the fire department is no different but these aforementioned “firefighters” are killing our service. Sadly some of them even rise into the company and chief officer ranks.
So what do we do? How do we get our fire department back? Sadly I do not know the answer, I know I try to stay as positive as possible, and have learned to swallow my tounge even in the face of stupidity and ignorance. I try to not get bogged down in the “politics” of the job and just do the job. Also I have made it a personal vow to not sacrifice my personal beliefs even if it means I never get promoted. Is it the best way? No, but it keeps me sane (to a point).
Also do not sell yourself or your options short, just like in a relationship your time with your current department may have an expiration date that expires before your retirement date. Bottom line if your unhappy take steps to make yourself happy, even if that means looking for work in another department.
I also recommend blowing off steam and recharging your batteries. FDIC always recharges my batteries and gets my passion for the job stirred up again. Taking a National Fire Academy week-long course (and visiting the Ott House, and Command Post Pub several times) also does a lot for me. Sports are also a huge release and If I am not doing fire department stuff you can usually find me watching a game on TV or trying to work my schedule so I can go to one.
Do not let these people steal our way of life, and our history. To many have been before us to let it go away. As usual thanks for reading, spread the word, and STAY SAFE!