A Letter from “The Rogues”

big4alteredDear ______,

I’m sorry you find yourself annoyed with our passion.  I’m sorry that our pursuit of excellence bothers you. Some of you may even hate us.

Don’t misunderstand me in that I’m not apologizing for my love of the job. I’m apologizing because I feel sorry for you.

You will never reach your full potential, and yes, you have potential. You’ll never see what this job really can have to offer.

Maybe you picked the wrong profession.
Maybe you are burned out.
Maybe you are just here for the paycheck.

Nonetheless; I can’t help that you are unhappy…but you will have no affect on me. You may ridicule, laugh, or even look down on our beliefs.  To you, the Big 4 is a joke. To those of us that have embraced it, it’s our life’s motto.


To those of you mocking us, you don’t get it.  Most of you never will. No matter what you do or say, we’re going to keep pushing. We’re going to be there, every shift, every drill, and we will be demanding more out of ourselves.  We are going to throw ladders. We are going to stretch lines.  We are students of the craft, and you will NEVER change that.

Here is the good news though, we are always accepting new members.

Our love for people and for our brothers and sisters is the driving force behind why we are the way we are.  We strive for excellence because that’s all there is.  We feel an immense responsibility to be the best we can be.

Excellence IS My Responsibility.  -Cpt. Mark vonAppen

That’s not just a catch phrase. That’s the truth.  Our lives depend on it. Your own life will depend on it. I hope it doesn’t take that situation to make you want to join up. If so, it may be too late.

We are here. We are not going anywhere.  You have two choices,  join us or get left behind.  You need to understand, you can’t run us off.  Our passion runs too deep to be deterred by the Sheep.


This article was submitted by a close friend who GETS IT, however; I’m sure many of you can apply this to your own department.  A lot of the terminology and inspiration comes from Cpt. vonAppen of the blog, Fully Involved.