They say that first impressions are important. It seems that in the fire service this is doubly true. I’ve heard no end of mention that whatever impression you create in your first year in the service will follow you around for your entire career.
Being around the house and hearing stories of firefighters past and present it becomes painfully apparent that this is very true. People form their impressions of you right away and it’s very difficult to change those impressions later.
The advice that I keep getting is to make sure you work hard and keep your nose clean during your boot year because being a lazy boot can sink your whole career.
There are lots of little things that go into others’ opinions. Some of the things I have learned can help you to make a good impression are things like:
- Always introduce yourself to anyone you don’t know
- Always be the host at your station
- Offer coffee or water to any guests
- Notice when work is happening and be involved
- Be the hardest working person on your crew
- Never be standing still
- Always volunteer
- Clean, drill, or study at all times
- Be the first one up
- Be the last one to bed
Be friendly, work hard, be safe!