Knuckleheads: The Future of the Fire Service?

As I returned from another wonderful group of students engaged in discussions during my fighting hoarder fires class I keep thinking back to the four knuckleheads!  During this first class broken into a four hour model I had a wonderful group of young firefighters who looked like sponges ready to soak up everything they could about the best job in the world, firefighting.  I cannot help but to think back to when I was their age sitting in class ready to help anyone who needed it, what a great feeling that was!IMG_2117

It may seem frustrating to some of the older firefighters and officers as we learn to interact with the younger generation of firefighters, much like the ones who first gave us our training and introduced us to their world.  What do you think they said about us?  “This guy will never make it” or “god helps us all”.

What I can say about the future of the fire service these days is “we are in good hands.”  Over the past few months, I had the honor of training, teaching, interacting, and even spending free time with many of the firefighters of tomorrow.  They may be different from us, talk different from us, and use technology like a revenge of the nerd’s graduate but rest assured that they are ready to step in, step up, and carry the halligan toward the future.

With any new generation that enters the fire service, they bring with them challenges and this generation is no different.  One thing that I can say with certainty is one challenge that will not be a problem is education.  With mobile devices that have speeds faster than our first ten computers combined and the availability of online articles and videos this next generation enters our world more aware of the dangers and rewards that the fire service holds.

The next time you think to yourself, “boy we are in trouble”, just remember that at one point in time, we were the knuckleheads and we turned out ok too.  Take the time to introduce yourself, ask about them, and be prepared to text, tweet, or facebook to welcome them into the brother and sisterhood that is the fire service.  The future looks bright when the senior firefighters take the time to teach the next generation of knuckleheads!


Bunker up, Buckle in, it’s where we ALL Begin!