Being “That Guy”

Since getting my assignment to Station 2 in January of this year, I’ve dumped a little money and a lot of time into the projects I have been working on. I never once had any second thoughts about doing it because I have a positive attitude and love my job. I realize that each department, including my own, has the guys that may not have the best attitude and may not “get it.” I’m no better than any of the other guys, and probably even fall short of expectations at times. I’m not liked by all, and to be honest…probably hated by a few.

When it comes to work, I take pride in my department, my station, and my profession. I believe in tradition. With that being said, I believe just because things have always been done “this way,” it doesn’t mean it should always continue to be done. Also, just because things may not have been done in the past…that doesn’t mean that new traditions shouldn’t be created.

I have posted recently about several of the station projects I have been working on. I have no hesitation to spend a few dollars here and there to make the station feel more like a “home.” After all, we live here roughly 10 days a month for 24 hours at a time. With bland walls, the station can be a gloomy place. I also am sure to always ask for feedback and ideas from the guys that work out of the station. I don’t want others to look back and say that I decorated the station the way I wanted it.

We have those who don’t comment on the things I have done. Is it because they don’t notice? Of course not. As soon as you walk in the station, you can’t help by to notice the things that have been done. None of these things could have been accomplished without the help and support of those within my department though. The comments saying that they like what the projects I’ve been working on keep me going. I also seem to catch hell from a number of the guys, but lets face it…I work at a firehouse. It is expected and I wouldn’t want it any other way.

A senior driver on my shift once told me, “If we didn’t like you, we wouldn’t give you a hard time. Look at those that aren’t liked…people don’t talk to them.” I quickly replied with, “I am glad that ya’ll like me, but apparently ya’ll LOVE me. Maybe I’d prefer if everyone didn’t LIKE me quite so much.”

In all seriousness, I have no problem being “that guy.” I have enjoyed touching up the station with the patch wall, making our station logo come to reality, putting up framed photos that showcase the history of our station, etc. Within a few weeks, I hope to have a custom flagpole mounted out on the front balcony of our station. It is my hopes that a new tradition will be created at this station by the raising and lowering of the flag each day.

Recently, I received a message on Facebook from a fellow first responder in the Tri-Cities. I can’t express in words at how great it truly felt to read that someone had taken notice to the work I had put into my firehouse. Below is an excerpt of the message:

“I just wanted to take a minute to tell you that I went by station 2 last sunday and I really like the things you have done. I think it is very important that the guys know and understand the history behind firefighting and kfd. I also enjoy reading your post and looking at the pictures you post. Keep up the good work my friend although I’m just a ems/rescue junkie , you won’t see me fighting fire. So thanks for your hard work and dedication”

For both of my readers that follow my blog, I want to stress to you how important it is to take pride in your station/department. I haven’t met anyone that has told me “our department/station morale could not use any improvement.” Showcase the history that your department has, and be proud of it. While my Captain was going over my evaluation today, he reminded me that it is making an impact on others. Many of you may not realize what a few simple projects can do for the morale. Take the time and communicate with your crew to see what you may be able to offer. Make a team effort out of it. Don’t let the negativity push you away from accomplishing tasks. My Chief even joked that I should let him know when I finish with my station so that he can move me to get started on the next.

I have attached a few photos below of an update of a few of the projects. As always, feel free to leave feedback and let us know what you are doing around your station.