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Getting Along

Posted by Feld Fire on 9/8/2014 to Fire Fighting

Firefighters must work and live with a variety of personalities. The long hours and often close proximity of living quarters, combined with sometimes stressful working conditions can often cause tension in coworker relationships. If you are able to exhibit tolerance, understanding and compassion, these same things that create tension can also create bonds between you and your co-workers.

Avoid Detrimental Factors

Firefighting is unlike other professions where there are usually some ways to escape from the stress or ramblings of an annoying co-worker. Due to the lifestyle required of a firefighter, you will be forced to deal with them, head-on, sometimes for days on end. Intolerance is not an option. It will only lead to anger and enmity, and these are corrosive emotions that will destroy a group. Over time, such resentment can spread to destroy the entire organization. The smaller the organization, the faster the collapse occurs. By developing tolerance, it will help you maintain your sanity, and generally make for a happier work environment for you and everyone else in your group. You will also bring a modicum of peace to the entire organization.

It's Often The Little Things

Now, obviously if something is intolerable, you don’t have to put up with it, but when it comes to small irritants, they can end up becoming much bigger issues than they need to be. Learn to practice not letting these things get to you. You must learn to accept people for who they are, whether you like it or not. Develop a way to accept the innate differences in people. You must also have thick skin and not let a lack of tolerance from the others, or their ignorance or need to push you beyond your limits.

A Brotherhood

It is called a brotherhood for a reason. No one gets to choose their siblings. Consequently, we do not always like everything about our brothers or sisters. We often have knock down drag out fights with them, but we all must learn to live with our brothers and sisters and get along with them, despite any differences. In doing so we develop love for them and create a bond that would find us able to lay down our life for them without thinking twice.

Always Be Consistent

Tolerance is also essential when dealing with the public. You will be loved for what you do by some, but you will also be hated by others for various (and not always rational) reasons. You will be dealing with people from all walks of life, cultures, races, backgrounds and all socioeconomic levels. You will need to learn not only how to deal with, but care for people who live their lives in a myriad of ways, and have chosen life directions that you may not agree with. Regardless, you must learn to treat every single one of them with the same level of respect, courtesy and professionalism as everyone else. This also involves practicing tolerance.

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