A Word to the Wise

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First of all let me say that I really enjoy reading all of the other blogs from around Ronaoke and in other areas of Southwest Virginia. While this was not the first fire related blogs on the net it was one of the first that has maintained throughout the years. Sure we have had hiccups, but it has been a growing experience. Bristol and Danville followed. In the wake of RoanokeFire.com being offline we saw a new brand of station specific blogs right here at home starting with Station 9, then soon after Station 3, Station 6, and Station 1. You can find links to those blogs on the right.

Some of the blogs have offered a great introspect as to what goes on inside the individual stations from day to day plus or minus a shift or two. For firefighters, the view is great and offers the comic relief we all need. The hi jinx within and between some of the stations is hilarious. I have truly enjoyed reading each of the blogs on a daily basis or at least checking to see if they have been updated.

RoanokeFire.com was recently brought under fire for some of the comments. Some of the comments were bred from the writings of yours truly. I talked about the issues, whether you liked them or not. Every issue has at least two sides. I usually spoke for my side, which was most commonly the correct side of the issue for the Union view. I brought up the hard topics. I offered my point of view and you were allotted the opportunity to tell me to go to hell or offer your side of the issue. I do plan on continuing this tactic to keep everyone in the learning stages of what is going on and not allow us to get lethargic in some of the issues which really pose threats against us. One of those issues is our disability, something that I will be writing about soon.

What troubles me is some of the posts and writings on these other blogs. I know that some of you (all six of you) are rolling your eyes right now. Obviously you know what I think of that. Some of the posts like “Slow Sunday” , “Last day of the cycle…….SLOWWWW“, “So far a slow day“, and “Slow in the East” for example don’t exactly do much good for us when we are trying to keep City Council from cutting positions. Sure, I know what it means and I know the ins and outs of the fire service. While you might say it is a slow day, there are still a lot of things that get done. But more importantly, we don’t get paid to do housework or train, we get paid to act. That action is done whenever the call comes in; wherever the call is; and however we need to get the job done. The problem is that citizens don’t understand all of that. Remember some of the scrutiny we have gotten from other bloggers on the net. They just don’t get it and will not understand it until they have to pick up the phone and dial 911. Only then will they expect the best from us. That best is something we are having to work harder and harder to deliver with every drop of the ax on our staffing, apparatus, and stations.

One thing I have always tried to do on this site is talk about the worst case scenario. That is what we train for, that is what we have to expect, and that is what will happen on occasion. Politicians and administrators play the odds. The odds are with them for sure. Rarely are we given the opportunity to show them that the odds failed because when they do either citizens or ourselves pay the price; and when it does that is not the time to stand up and say I told you so. That is bad business. Not for us, that is when we NEED to stand up and point it out, however when only firefighters stand up and speak in those times it is often misconstrued. That is when we need the public to understand, to be aware, and to stand up behind us.

Those time and when the ax drops on the next positions or stations are when administrators and politicians will grasp for straws to keep themselves afloat.

I guess I kinda went off on a tangent, but my point was not lost. Have fun, keep it real, and lighten up on how many calls you don’t run. One other thing, don’t ever dream, wish, or hope a fire happens.

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