We have all heard the word Discipline in many different ways through the course of our lives and careers. For those who listen to the Jocko Podcast know the worddiscipline to be used to explain freedom. As Jocko says, “Discipline Equals Freedom”. So what does discipline mean for us in the fire service?
Discipline can mean a lot ofdifferent things. It could mean an act to obey an order or a prescribed conduct/behavior. For me as a firefighter, discipline is doing the right thing even when it isn’t noticed by others and it also means always doing your job.
A disciplined firefighter is one that will take pride in his or her job at all times. This person will ensure they are alwaysmentally and physically ready for. They will make sure their uniform and gear is clean and ready to be worn when called upon. A disciplined firefighter will continually take pride in their job by washing the trucks and cleaning the station when needed. They will also tend to all the tools and equipment, ensuring they are clean, fueled, and 100% ready to go.
A disciplined firefighter will consistentlykeep training in many different ways. They will read books, articles, and do research on new tools, techniques, and advancements. They will also keep training their bodies physically to be fit for duty. They will make sure to set aside time for working out and eating right. For most, this will become a way of life and hopefully not just for them, but for their entire crew and family as well.
Perhaps most importantly a disciplined firefighter will share their knowledge and experiences with the younger members to instill a sense of pride and discipline into the new generation of emergency responders. This is critical because the younger generations look up to those of us who have been around for a long time. They tend to model their behavior and tendencies to that of the more experienced crew members. If we are sloppy, careless, and not disciplined they will also be. On the flip side, if we are squared away and disciplined they will be too.
When the bell goes off, everyone needs to know what is being asked of them and what their job is. When working on the fire ground everyone needs to work together to achieve the common goal of solving the problem presented. Being a disciplined firefighter will allow you to do your job efficiently so that everyone goes home.
Until next time; work hard, stay safe & live inspired.
About the Author
NICHOLAS J. HIGGINSis a firefighter with 16 years in the fire service in Piscataway, NJ as well as NJ State certified level 2 fire instructor and currently a State of New Jersey Advocate for the National Fallen Firefighter’s Foundation. A martial arts practitioner in Taekwondo, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and Muay Thai as well as a former collegiate athlete in baseball, Nick is also a National Exercise & Sports Trainer Association Battle Ropes Instructor, Nutrition Coach and studying for the Functional Fitness Instructor certification. He holds a B.S. in Accounting from Kean University and is the founder/contributor of the Firehouse Tribune website.