On November 24, 2011 I wrote an article here on Situational Awareness Matters titled Defensive Decision Making. In that article I made the following statement:
Coincidentally, one of the most sickening signs of low self-esteem, over inflated ego and over confidence are displayed on the “NO FEAR” decals some firefighters wear on their helmets. Personally, if I wore a decal on my helmet that portrayed how I felt when I sent firefighters into structure fires it would read “SCARED TO DEATH!” [tweet this]
My Twitter feed, Facebook, LinkedIn and email lit up like a Christmas tree (maybe it was a seasonal thing, who knows). Regardless, I was absolutely humbled by the amount of positive comments (and, believe it or not, NO negative comments) from my article. I found that encouraging. But one piece of feedback I received, via Facebook, blew me away!
I received a very nice comment from a soon-to-be promoted Battalion Chief that read:
“Thank you for this statement. As an incident commander I feel this way every time my crews are on an interior attack. I am someone who holds you in high regard and for you to make this statement lets me know that I am not alone. Thank You!”
But it doesn’t end there. I sent a message back, thanking him for his kind words and his support of my mission.
Then, I received another message from him. Only this one contained a picture.
Yes! Joe Lyons, soon-to-be (in Nov 2011) Battalion Chief for the Westfield (IN) Fire Department, put his ego and self-esteem on public display with a statement of raw honesty. This is especially impressive coming from a company officer on the verge of being promoted to a position with direct command responsibility.
To lead is to do the right things for the right reasons without regard for judgment by others. [tweet this]
Joe Lyons is a leader and, by my account, a hero for making a bold and honest statement that, I hope and pray, represents how EVERY incident commander feels while making the decision to send firefighters into high-risk, high-consequence environments.
Leadership means… Leading! [tweet this]
Thank you Joe, and all the other company and command officers out there who put the safety of personnel above ego.
Keep your feedback coming! I absolutely love getting messages of support for my mission. It gives me so much energy. Thank you!
I often say it feels like I’m trying to push a heavy rock up a steep hill with my message and support from friends makes the task much easier… or at least more enjoyable.
I promise I will personally respond to EVERY message I receive.
The mission of Situational Awareness Matters is simple: Help first responders see the bad things coming… in time to change the outcome.
Safety begins with SA!
Share your comments on this article in the “Leave a Reply” box below. If you want to send me incident pictures, videos or have an idea you’d like me to research and write about, contact me. I really enjoy getting feedback and supportive messages from fellow first responders. It gives me the energy to work harder for you.
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