We have the great Bob Dylan to thank for those words. Funny how just six words can convey such a strong meaning across so many aspects of life. And for first responders in general and firefighters in particular, times are changing for us at a very rapid pace.
Even if you've only been on the job for, let's say, five years, you'd got to admit that a great deal about the fire service has changed since 2013! For example, we've seen a great evolution of one of our most important tools, the TIC. Where it used to be a big, clunky thing that looked like a radar gun or steroids, one of its newest iterations can be used inside our SCBA mask! (Oh yeah - that's means you must follow the "FACEPIECE ON" call of our good friend, Chief Robert Fling.) Another set of friends, Joe and Andy Starnes have created excellent TIC educational programs and presentations across this country! Anybody can learn to use the TIC well!
More change - the relatively recent discussions over the last several years or so, regarding the concepts of flow-path study as part of our 360. Though tens of thousands of us learned to "Get in there and bust 'dem windows," or "Cut that roof," we now know that that those practices may not always be the best start to our efforts in structures fires. And how about what we are learning today from the folks at Max Fire Box, that we can spray the door beforewe make entry and save ourselves from a "crap-load" of heat!
Whether we want to admit it or not, change is inevitable. However, it's important to remember that change does not necessarily mean that what came before is wrong; rather, change is the process of the evolution of the how or the why of what we do. Sure, there are those who are boisterous in their opposition of change, no matter what it's for or what it does. And that's not necessarily bad! When a method works, people use it and they like. It's a comfort sort of thing. Too often, folks on both sides of the "change" often color the other side, "wrong," automatically, without even studying or trying the new idea or method.
What we do, no one else does. When we are hired or accepted into the fire service, we don't just shake hands with the boss, find our desk and take a seat. We take an oath to save lives and property! That's places us in an entirely different atmosphere than most other folks. That means that we always must seek the best possible way to do what we do. Will that mean we'll need to change from what we were comfortable with? Probably yes! Is it an attack on the previous way we did that task? No, not in the least. It just means we're developing another method, another tool, another suggestion to help us save lives and property. And that's the bottom line!
Remember, it's not personal!
Steve Greene is the president of 5-Alarm Task Force Corp., a 501 (c) (3), non-profit company and the Creator/Host of the "5-Alarm Task Force" podcast.