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The Kid

Your horse will be taken care of with soft hands and high expectations. He will learn in a way that fits him and he can understand."
This was an ad for horse training and it got me wondering why we don't apply it to new firefighters.
Why do we treat the rookie like they're stupid?
They're not.
They're just new.
They're trying to find their place.
A fire company is a tough crowd.
It's a clic, a family, and sometimes a downright gang.
The rookie wants in.
We get it.
There's trials and tribulations.
Tests to pass.
Things need to be proven.
But that doesn't mean you don't guide, help, and coax them the right direction.
None of that needs yelling, downtalking, or arrogance.
Look, jack with the dude.
But don't degrade him.
And if you're a company officer tread very lightly.
You're the person they have to come to for serious issues, personal ones.
You don't have to be their friend but they have to trust you.
If you constantly chime in on the ribbing and even lead it, they may not.
And remember...
Don't be a dick.
Be a mentor, not an asshole.
Talk to them like human beings.
Because they are.
When they screw up, because they will, it's best to respond like a five year old.
Rage helps too.
For real? Come on man.
"Look dude, I need 3 things.
Ownership of the mistake.
Suggestions of how to correct it in the future.
Understanding you can't do it again.
Now let's move forward."
Good luck folks. If you need a list of possible mistakes, we'll, we've made them. Be better.
-Train or Die

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