Firefighter Training, Firefighting, Leadership

Defining your culture

Issue 10 and Volume 170.

More and more each day, fire service professionals are engaging in conversations about the culture of their departments. The conversations vary from how great it is in one department to how bad it is in another. Why, we may wonder, do firefighters care about what is commonly acceptable regarding our behavior toward each other and the citizens of the community? Why do we care about our department’s reputation, character, and accountability to ourselves and each other? This concern is often apparent in the frequency of conversations among firefighters on the topic of culture when discussing their departments. Conversations will take an avenue such as, “How are things at your department?” The responses may vary: “Well, they are still paying us; that’s about all I can say. Nothing has changed” or, “It’s great. Everybody seems to be happy. We enjoy coming to work.” The differences in the responses may be associated…

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