Leatherhead Thursday: Holiday Season and Appreciation

By James R. Dennison

of the Leatherhead Instructors

As another holiday season rapidly approaches, we are faced with the challenges and unique calls that we may receive.  The way that we provide customer service this time of year really makes an impact on our “customers”.  The season presents us with emergencies that stem from the weather, large family gatherings, faulty Christmas decorations, and the increased use of heating due to the cold.  The compassion that we portray when dealing with our “customers” in their emergency is a subtle reminder that we truly care about our jobs.

This season is also a time for us to reflect on what the job means to us and how we got here.  As our careers progress we sometimes lose sight of why we do this, and what it meant to take the job.  The years and years of time that some of us have on the job has taken its toll and a rejuvenation is important if we want to continue being part of the progression of the service.  The attitudes that we carry at the station, around our brothers and sisters, and to our “customers” is what we build ourselves on.

Take a look at the “new guy” on the department; I bet he or she is full of excitement and is headed in every direction because they cannot get enough.  I bet that each of us can look back and reflect on the days that we were the same way.  Spend some time looking at what your career has meant to you and how you may or may not have arrived at your present attitude.  What things can you change?  What things can you not change?  I bet there are some simple things that you could do to improve your attitude and vision.

This season is about giving and appreciation.  I think that the holiday season is a perfect time to reflect on our individual strengths and weaknesses, and the time to make changes.  Set some achievable goals for 2015; maybe there is a class that you want to take, or something within the department that you want to be part of.  Start 2015 with a fresh slate and a rekindled fire within yourself; be part of the solution!

Take the time to talk to people when you are on calls, your kindness will go a long way.  You never know just how much a “customer” will remember when you go the extra mile; this is why we should be doing the job!  We are the fortunate ones, not everybody has a job that they love!  Have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

Stay safe and train hard!