All careers have highs and lows. With firefighting there should be more highs than lows, but it won’t always be sunshine and roses. Learn to be thick-skinned. Roll with the punches. Whatever cliche’ gets you through the rough patches and on to the other side.
Following instructions when given conflicting instructions is tough. It happens. Unfortunately more often than I’d like. It comes down to letting the 2nd person giving the instructions know that you were given different instructions from so & so already.
Study, learn all that you can, watch training videos online. Ask to borrow any educational books they may have. It can only benefit you and make you a better firefighter.
When training classes are offered, do all that you can to be there, even if you must take off work.
As a probationary firefighter be prepared to work hard, get dirty, and not understand a lot of what is going on around you at times. Ask questions, but be sure to ask them at the appropriate times (not during a business meeting). Ideally a probationary firefighter should have a mentor. Then most of your questions can be asked of your mentor.
Don’t be cocky. Being cocky is a good way to make everyone despise you. Not only that, but being cocky can get you or someone else hurt. Always be humble, gracious, and show integrity. Set a good example and remember the public is always watching you. If you’re wearing the shirt, you’re representing not only the department you volunteer for, but all firefighters all over.
Stay strong and be safe.
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