101 Things the Fire Department wishes you knew



Sunday, June 21

Sunday Fun - Dad

I wrote a bit about the history of the bugle in the fire service and intended to post it here today when the tradition led me back to why I am where I am today.

When my father made Captain, I recall being surprised and honored when he asked his teenage son to pin his badge on at the ceremony.
Captain.
Two bugles.

Over the years that followed we had our differences, but those bugles always followed me. They were on the collar of the officer who led my volunteer fire academy. Two bugles adorned the badge of the woman who failed me out of the exam in Seattle. The bugles greeted me on my first day in my current Department.

Seems like a simple symbol, but looking back that had to be one of the most shaping moments in my learning years. A little piece of metal with twin shapes.

Why we do what we do can be a difficult question to answer. There are those who might show you a paycheck or a retirement calculation. Then there are others who look at you blankly as if there were no other profession in the world.

I particularly enjoyed Nicholas Cage's character in Bringing out the Dead when he answered, "Father was a bus driver, mother was a nurse, I was kind of born into it."

I am a fireman because of my father. I know, on Father's Day of all days to chime in about it.
Dad made sure I went to my Explorer meetings instead of being an idiot.
Dad sent me a pair of good structural gloves when my volunteer department's gloves didn't feel right.
He has always been there, even if it was shouting at one another that first summer back from college. Shouting which inspired me to pass the volunteer test and get on with the local dept.
Dad gave me support when I made Lieutenant at my first paid spot. Then even more support when I got demoted.
Dad did his best to keep me on task with school, despite my efforts to the contrary.
Dad made my Paramedic graduation and got me my own clipboard, which I used.
He led by example, still does.

Mal Reynolds would say the Angry Captain ain't got much need for words. His actions speak for him.

He likely disapproves of this kind of talk in a public arena, but I want my readers to know why I do what I do.

Because of Dad.
Sappy for sure, but 100% true. His example of unconditional support taught me that I can do anything I want, and I did.

The more I think about it, it was standing in front of Station 22 as the Truck pulled out on a job that got me into this profession. You can't show a 10 year old boy a 100' Crown Tiller rolling code to a job and not expect him to go into the business. Forget what I said up there, go with the truck explanation.

Thanks, Dad.
Thank you, Captain.
Appreciate it, Pop.

8 comments:

TBChick said...

Think it’s called “unconditional love” and you are probably right that your dad “likely disapproves of this kind of talk in a public arena”. But then again, he obviously played a large part in making you the person you are. A job well done I would say. We’re proud of both of you.

Happy Father’s Day to him, to you and all the dad’s.

Little Girl said...

Awww ....

Fathers always suppose their children even when their children make the wrong choices. Fathers let their children live their own lives while still guiding them in the path. :)

My own Father doesn't really understand my career choice, but when I told him I applied for a higher ranking position he was there supporting me every step of the way, he was also one of the few people that listened to me when I phoned every single person in my family and sang 'I have brass bars' on the phone as loud as I could over and over for about 5 minuets straight.

Whether you want it or not Fathers are there for you - they will give you a hug when you don't want one, they will tell you 'how it is' when you don't want to listen, and they will support you every step of your life.

Happy Daddy's Day to all the Daddys out there! :)

Mike "FossilMedic" Ward said...

Happy,

very nice post ...

happy father's day to you as well

Mike

Duke said...

Great post as always HM. Happy Father's Day and keep up the good work.

Firecap5 said...

HM, great post. Take the time to enjoy time with Dad while you can. Learn all you can from him.

I miss my Father more than I can say. He molded me into the man I am today. He never was a Firefighter, but he was a great example of a man.

Happy Fathers Day HM and TAC!!

brendan said...

You got bounced from Seattle? Dammit! Don't get me wrong, I enjoy your blog thoroughly, and you're totally on my "list of people I'd let touch me in an emergency."

It's just that the idea of a blog by a member of arguably the best fire-based EMS system in the country would be.... wow.

I mean, no offense or anything. :-p

The Happy Medic said...

Brendan,

At the very end of the physical agility, when you have to do the rope pull...
She counted down to zero time left and I was still pulling. "FAIL!" she shouted, and I went home. That was many moons ago.

MotorCop said...

HM,

I can totally dig the feeling behind this post. My Dad, a retired Fire Capt., got me started in Public Service. Had Fire not had a ridiculous lottery hiring system, who knows where I'd be now....probably still yelling at people to slow down. Which would be weird in turnouts.