Do you embrace change or do you resist it? Do you approach a conversation with an open mind or do you approach the discussion with a closed mind? Are you willing to accept technological advances or discredit them? Are you willing to pull up a chair at the table and join the conversation?
I am a humble public servant. My ultimate goal and purpose, in my position in the fire service, is to serve the public. Our customers expect a highly competent professional that will arrive in an effective and efficient manner to mitigate their emergency. Are you willing to be a change magnet?
The fire service is rapidly approaching the age of discovery in the realm of scientific information. This scientific data is at the forefront of many conversations and discussions around the firehouse kitchen table. The application of this scientific data is very difficult to apply, digest and even comprehend. Are you willing to embrace this information?
In this age of discovery, this scientific information is highlighting information that has already been discovered in the past. However, in this current age of information, several are reconsidering this preexisting information. This age of technology is integrated with almost every aspect of the society of today. For example, smartphones, smart televisions and now even smart refrigerators. You can see this advancement of technology by attending national fire/ems conferences and walking the exposition floor. Are you willing to attend these conferences and become familiar with the advancement of this technology in the fire service?
The age-old motto of the fire service is to improvise, adapt and overcome. I can remember when I started in the fire service, my instructors encouraged me to remain flexible and never become comfortable. I was instructed to become a student of the fire service by my senior firefighters and fire officers. I decided to make the commitment of becoming a life long learner. Never stop learning. I owe it to my fellow firefighters, my family and the public I took an oath to serve, to be a student of the profession.
You might ask yourself… How do you become a change magnet? First, you can subscribe to fire service related magazines and stay current on the discussions already taking place in the field of public safety. You can attend local, regional and national fire/ems conferences. These conferences give you the opportunity to attend both hands-on training classes and classroom lecture-based training. You can enroll at your local community college and join the discussion in the classroom. You can subscribe to fire service related newsletters and read monthly articles. These are only a few ways to join in on the discussion. Are you willing to be a change magnet?
Chris Baker, has over twelve years of experience in volunteer, combination, and career, fire departments in California. He holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Anthropology and Associates of Science Degree in Fire Service Command, Company Officer. Chris is a California State Fire Training certified Fire Officer, Driver-Operator, Fire Instructor, and Lead Firefighter I Certification Evaluator. He is a Fire Science Instructor in the California Community Colleges System. Chris is a member of the California Fire Technology Directors’ Association and the California Training Officers Association. He served as a volunteer Peer Reviewer on the FY 2017 Staffing for Adequate Fire & Emergency Response Grants (SAFER) for both hiring and recruitment/retention. Chris also served as a Peer Reviewer on the FY 2017 Assistance to Firefighters Grants (AFG). He is a Volunteer Advocate Regional Manager, Region IX (CA, NV, AZ, HI) for the Everyone Goes Home Program through the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation. Chris also serves as a volunteer member of the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) Safety, Health and Survival Section serving in their staging area. He is a member of the Board of Directors for the National Fire Heritage Center located in Emmitsburg, Maryland. Chris is a National Fire Service Instructor teaching at notable fire conferences across the country. He is the co-host of The Future Fighter, Fire Engineering Blog Talk Radio Show. Chris writes blog articles for Firefighter Nation, Fire Rescue and Fire Engineering Magazines on mentoring the future generations of the fire service.