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Attitude vs. Aptitude

Which is more important. Obviously you need to have both, but where should your attention be.

Assume you are the best firefighter in the world. They could make an IFSTA manual by just following you around all day. You eat breath, and sleep fire service. But you aren't the nicest most personable guy. This will get you a front row seat to watch the guys with minimum skills with a good attitude, get and keep the good jobs. The Fire Service can take just about anyone off the street and make them into a firefighter in a year, as long as they can go into a burning building and see blood. Usually a poor attitude is a long-term thing. Attitude is your rudder through life.

Be aware most departments already have enough people working there with an attitude problem, and don't need any more. For example, I am working with a newly hired firefighter. He's working through his probation and has a great attitude. He doesn't sit in the recliners in front of the T.V., ever! If a training video is being reviewed he brings in a kitchen chair. He is aware that other peoples perceptions are very important to your reputation in the fire service. Another example of this is; an engineer, from another shift was working with us and told him to relax nobody would care. Not 15 seconds latter he began telling us that someone else just hired was spending all their time in the easy chairs. I asked him if he'd seen this. He said no, he'd just heard about it. He proved the point right there. You could do something once and have someone see it, tell someone else, and suddenly your " Easy chair Charlie". Probation is hard enough. Don't make it harder than it has to be.

"Attitude is such a small thing that can make such a huge difference."

Courtesy of Captain Rob, @ Capt. Bob Smith, Speaker, Author, Publisher, Information Products. 5565 Black Ave. Pleasanton 94566 Phone: (925) 846-3959

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