Leadership

DOES NEPOTISM HURT THE FIRE SERVICE?

Issue 10 and Volume 156.

BY JAY LOWRY “It is the family business” … or so goes the saying for many firefighters. Since the dawn of the American fire service, families have played a tremendous role in staffing fire stations around the country. The old wisdom was that firefighters from a family of firefighters are more often than not better prepared to serve their community. It is quite easy to estimate that if volunteer departments had forbidden family members from participating, the fire service would have been dealt a tragic blow. Young children admire firefighters; for the son or daughter of a firefighter, that fascination can be multiplied tenfold. One officer interviewed for this article stated, “Someone who has grown up in the family of a firefighter has a good understanding of those traditions and why they are important. They understand that firefighters are role models in the community both on and off duty.” In…

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