3 mins read

It seems no one wants to take advice these days.

No one wants to be “told” what to do these days.

Chain of command? That’s a struggle in 2022.

It seems like most days it’s every man or woman for themselves.

Everyone wants to be “equal” at the firehouse when it comes to everything from being a rookie to being the thirty year guy. That is strange to me considering there is a chain of command and a core of senior men and women who have come before some of us and know what they’re doing. To me, it seems more like these things exist but often aren’t followed. So, everyone wants their voice to be heard and everyone wants to make their own choices.

“Don’t tell me what to do, I got this…” 

Now, I don’t have a problem with firefighters being treated equally and with respect. That should go without saying. What I’m saying is that if you want to make your own choices and ditch advice every time an officer or senior man gives you some wisdom, be willing to suffer the outcome of your choices.

Yes, they are your choices but they will also be your consequences.

Unfortunately, sometimes these consequences also trickle down to other crew members as well. Sometimes there are people looking out for us that have “been there done that.” Sometimes it does pay to keep our mouth shut and listen.

In a craft where we are supposed to be a team, it seems that everyone is trying to create their own way to success. This is what hinders us to the realization that there are good men and women in the fire service who will look out for us.

A lot of the time just sitting, listening, and taking advice will help us make the right choice! 

Before you make “your choices”, listen and consider the outcome. Consider the source, weigh the options, weigh the consequences and then make your choice. Not everyone here is out to get you.

A lot of us are still here and willing to get you where you want to go.

My choices, my consequences.

Just don’t forget to own the choices and the outcome that follows.

This article was written by Joshua Chase of Jump Seat Leadership – Go see his book!

Josh Chase is a fire Lieutenant with Norfolk Fire Rescue, and is a 17 year veteran of the fire service. He has a passion for leadership and strengthening firefighters to lead at the informal level. Josh is also the recipient of the Fire Service Medal of Honor which he received in 2019 after rescuing a child from a two alarm apartment fire.

Josh has authored a couple of books with his latest book being Jump Seat Leadership: The guide to informal leadership in the fire service. He believes in leading yourself before leading others and that you do not need a bugle to lead in the fire service.

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