A couple of weeks ago a firefighter I work with came in the office and handed me a baseball card he came across while rifling through his old collection. Just looking at the card gave me a good laugh. He said, ”Hey Boss, figured you’d like this card.” We shared a laugh and he went back to the kitchen and left the card with me. Juan Berenguer, as you can see in the picture, is an old school pitcher for the Atlanta Braves who I actually used to watch pitch as a kid with my grandmother. As you can see here on Juan’s Topps baseball card, he was a happy guy. Juan is not just a happy guy, though, he clearly loves baseball and even more importantly, he loves his job. What percentage of the population can actually say they love their job? A small one I would guess.
Juan, as simple as it is with this picture on a piece of cardboard, has actually motivated me to get back to understanding why I love the fire service so much. There are so many things that seem to pull a firefighter away from what the truth about the fire service today. I can name 10 things right now that firefighters are tasked with in this day and age that have absolutely no bearing on what the true mission of the fire service is. As VonAppen so bluntly stated, ”No one is coming.” It is up to us to find a way and to lead the way. I want to be like Juan, I want everyone to know just how great being a firefighter is. I won’t belabor the point because if you’ve ever been in a slump on the job for whatever reason, you know just how important it is to find the best things about this job and don’t let them go. Don’t allow the humans making bad decisions about their attitude and effort to have a negative effect on you and your firehouse crew. Let’s keep the most important things the most important things. Let’s BE LIKE JUAN. Love the job, cherish your time on the job, earn your spot, be professional, and the hell with anything that’s keeping us from doing the right thing. Remember this:
It’s not about you
What you say and do matters
Earn your spot
Leave it all on the field (Spend your inheritance)
Be honest at all costs
Mission trumps friendship, Mission creates family
Be like Juan, don’t lose that love for the job!