As many of you have probably heard the line, “the fire service was here before you and will be here after you.” It doesn’t get much simpler than that now does it? So while we are here, one of the most important things we can do is RESPECT it. When in the firehouse or out, always conduct yourself with respect for your fellow firefighters, the station and the job. Respect and be thankful to those who have been in the service before you because as we all know they are the ones teaching you what you are learning and play a role in your growth and success. Show them you want to follow in their footsteps when it’s time for them to step aside. Make them be confident that you can lead, teach, inspire and make sound fire ground decisions. Show up ready to work and be expected to work hard and get dirty. Be willing to learn as much as you can and become proficient at what you have learned. 

Always carry a level of professionalism as well because we are always a direct representation and reflection of not only our department and the fire service as a whole but to our families. Most importantly remember one thing; the name on your helmet represents your department. The name on your coat represents who raised you. Do them both justice. 

Until next time; work hard, stay safe and live inspired.  

About the Author

NICHOLAS J. HIGGINS is a firefighter with 14 years of service all within departments in Piscataway, NJ. Nick has held the ranks of Lieutenant and Captain as well as being a township elected District Fire Commissioner for 1 term (3 years) in Piscataway, NJ. He is also a NJ State certified level 2 fire instructor. He holds a B.S. in Accounting from Kean University working in Corporate Taxation and is the founder/contributor of the Firehouse Tribune website.