John R. Kowalski Integrative Marketing Fusion

What are you doing to make your dept better?

What are you doing to make your dept better?

Sitting Bull poses for a photo in the 1800s.

These thoughts keep coming to me as I recently wrote this on our department training room whiteboard. Along with “Listen, learn, teach, train.” These core elements fused with teamwork within the structure of the incident command system make for a successful fire hall.

On a recent call I failed (forgot) to turn command so one of our pump operators and it caused some confusion on scene. No harm was done and the brush/trash fire was extinguished. But still… it could’ve run a little more smoothly had I turned over command when the trucks arrived. This mistake was a good place to make it but it has still bothered me for days and I take it as a moment of learning. It won’t happen again.

Another aspect is attitude and what wolf are you feeding?

Sitting Bull c. 1883

Inside of me there are two wolves. One is mean and evil and the other is good and they fight each other all the time. When asked which one wins I answer, the one I feed the most.

—Sitting Bull

Having a positive attitude can do wonders for a fire hall but it can also cause chaos and turmoil from with that may also spill “out of the house.”

Are you listening to your officers and to those who are more experienced?

Are you continuously learning through reading, attending conferences and online tools? What about other departments or your law enforcement or ems partners?

Are you sharing your knowledge and teaching those new to the fire service or the department? Every scene and training session is an opportunity to teach so take advantage of it.

Train. Train as your life depends on it. Your life does. And those lives around you. Train always. Physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. Always.

So… what are you doing to make your department better?

Be safe.

Like what you just read? Pass it on!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

A gear depicting the concept of working


Find all my tips and knowledge about marketing, branding, and strategy here.

A guitar


It’s all about balance. Sometimes, you need to relearn how to play.

A firefighter


It’s not all work and play. Giving back to the community is paramount.

Get in Touch

Get in Touch