“Do Your Job and Do What Is Right, Always”
“The public expects us to rescue everyone, put out every fire, ease every pain, fix every disaster, and do it right every time,” says Battalion Chief Bob Atlas, Contra Costa County (CA) Fire Department, “So, if they are our customers and we provide a service, we should do it excellently every time.” He will outline how to achieve this in his classroom session, “11 Essentials of an Excellent Company Officer,” which he will present at FDIC International on Wednesday, April 22, 3:30 p.m.-5:15 p.m., in Rooms 236-237.
Atlas has attended and instructed at FDIC for the past two years, and was honored when Chief Bobby Halton encouraged him to submit his presentation. When it was accepted, he was both thankful and humbled. “To be in the company of the best instructors the fire service has to offer and to share this venue with them is a great honor and an even more humbling experience,” according to Atlas.
“FDIC is an opportunity for fire service professionals to come together for one week and talk shop among their peers and mentors. It’s a chance and a venue for all of us to “Geek Out” on the fire service. We get the best of the best all together and immerse ourselves in professional development and growth. Events like these are special because it’s all we do and that’s where the best learning takes place.”
His presentation is inspired by the industry-wide need for an increased level of professionalism without losing sight of who firefighters are as individuals and as part of the most respected profession in the world. “Excellence is not just something we do; it’s who we are.”
Excellence the presentation’s focus according to Atlas, and it will include pertinent and relevant information to take home and apply. “Students will learn strategies and tactics that they can employ right away, benefiting from real life examples of others who made careers out of being excellent.”
According to Atlas, we all have a choice when we show up to the firehouse: We can address the shift with the attitude of excellence or not. There are three levels of commitment: I’ll try, I’ll do my best, and I’ll do whatever it takes. “Once you decide that you want to live at the third level, then and only then have you begun the road to excellence,”
Atlas’s personal motto, “Do your job and do what is right, always” is something he strives to do every day. “I do not succeed at this every day,” he admits, “But that doesn’t mean I stop trying.”