John·ny-come-late·ly | \ ˈjä-nē-(ˌ)kəm-ˈlāt-lē \
plural Johnny-come-latelies or Johnnies-come-lately
Definition of Johnny-come-lately
1: a late or recent arrival : NEWCOMER
2: UPSTARTestablished families tend to hold themselves above the Johnny-come-latelies— William Zeckendorf †1976
I have heard this phrase a lot lately especially when referencing “new” instructors, authors, opinion speakers in the fire service. It is mostly from experienced or tenured members of the afore mentioned community.
To this I pose this question…..
Who were you BEFORE you were you?
No one walked out of the womb a firefighter, no one walked into their first day in the fire station a nationally known name. It took time, effort, failure, and encouragement from someone in that person’s life for them to keep pushing!
Was Alan Brunacini always him? No, it developed over time, and I am sure he was referred to as a “Johnny Come Lately” and had his naysayers (some still to this day).
What about outside the fire service? Bruce Lee was a nobody until he was BRUCE LEE and when he began to question traditional martial arts teachings he was shunned and dismissed, good thing he didn’t give up.
My point is we will never have the Vincent Dunn, Mike Ciampo, Ray McCormack, Bobby Halton, Dennis Legear, Jon Norman, John Salka, etc. if we tell everyone who opens their mouth to SHUT UP!
Not every speaker will be a home run, not every podcast or blog will go viral, but no one became who they are by being quiet and not speaking up. The industry will decide your value just like it always does (not every podcast, author, or conference ever started still exists).
So, if you have something to say make sure your message is solid, do the research and then SAY IT! Senior guys lets make an attempt at being supportive, the fire service needs the next you!