Thursday, December 13, 2012

Conducting an end of the year reflection. It is for YOU.

A firefighter’s year is unlike the year of anyone else. It is filled with trials, tribulations, positive events, challenges, happiness, and sadness. It is important that at the end of the year, firefighters take time to conduct a reflection and review of the year. Through this review, firefighters can learn from the positives and negatives and let go of the negatives, as well as allow for closure.

Firefighters should review the following aspects of the year. I suggest you use the sample form below and privately fill this out. Be honest with yourself. No one else will see this review. This is completely for you. After you finish, reflect on what you have addressed with yourself. When you finish reflecting, throw the document away. The year is closed and you have the outcomes of your review in your head. Write down your goals for the next year. Post them in locations that you will see them regularly and hold yourself accountable.

Religion: Are you satisfied with where you are on a religious level? What can you do to fix that if you decide you are falling short? This is your business and no one else's. You know what your believe. Stay true to that.

      Family: Are you satisfied with your family life? Have you placed your family as a priority? Often the fire service will consume you. Have you taken the appropriate amount of time and set it aside for your family. If you fell short of where you need to be, learn from that shortcoming and fix it in the next year. Don’t wait to fix family issues. We live a life on the edge. Never place the fire service ahead of your family.

      Education: Have you met the goals of your educational requirements? Are you in school? Did you train to the best of your ability?

Negatives: Did you run a call that didn’t go well? Did you have an incident that bothered you? Did you fall short on your training objectives? What skill set areas are you lacking in? Of all the negatives encountered this year, what lessons have you and can you take with you into the next year?

Positives: End with this section of your review. What went good? Review how you achieved the good? What calls stand out as good calls in your mind? What areas of training did you do well at this year? Review the positives and create goals for the next year.

As a firefighter you cannot keep the negatives at the forefront of your career and personal life. You take the lessons learned from the negatives with you and leave the details and visions of the negative situation in the past. If you need help dealing with a negative you encountered this year, please talk to someone. Good firefighters have a tough time dealing with negative situations at times and some runs will bother you. It is how you deal with it that matters. The bottom line is you are a firefighter, the toughest of tough, a brave soul, a selfless individual, a caring individual, and a human. Sometimes firefighters need a little help. Do what you have to for yourself and your family.

In closing, this is my last blog post for 2012. I want to thank Chief Bobby Halton and Fire Engineering for giving me a chance this year. I love the job and love sharing my views on the job with the brother and sister readers of the Fire Engineering Blog Network. This has been a dream come true for this firefighter and I look forward to writing in 2013.

I also want to thank my brothers at Tailboard Firefighting of North Carolina for continuing to push right beside me to deliver quality training to the fire service. A little over a year ago, Justin Brown, Jeff Hannum, Ben Davis, and myself sat down and decided to create Tailboard as an outlet to lead the new generation of firefighter and promote progressive training and standards. Captain Erick Mohn of Wake Forest Ladder 1 provided much needed encouragement to the Tailboard team and displayed true leadership by pushing his guys to create something so special. This year, Tailboard has taken off and became such a positive in all of our lives.

I will be sitting down and doing my end of the year review after Christmas. I hope you will take the time to do that same, for YOU. You do so much for others, do this for YOU. Stay safe out there, train hard, and enjoy the holidays.

Your brother,

Justin Graney

* Tailboard Firefighting of North Carolina delivers quality training through social media and courses delivered at your firehouse. Email for information on courses.

Firefighter Year End Reflection






Goals for the coming year:

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