Texas Fire Chief - Fall/Winter 2012 - (Page 19)
Making a DIFFERENCE
By Pat Ekiss
Making difference can Making a dif ference can be as simple as setting an example. Be the one to follow ferenc i p setti tting i ample. e pl one to foll w ollow ll the rules, check the equipment and take pride in your department. o r ent
hen I first arrived at my current department as the new chief, I wanted to develop a statement that would give direction towards our mission (which wasn’t yet clearly defined, at least formally, by prior administration), and our real purpose. I wanted it to be simple, easy to remember, and to actually mean something. Our focus statements read “Serving with Pride - Taking Ownership - Seeking Excellence - Making a Difference.” On the surface you might think, okay, nice catch phrase. Recently, I even received a compliment from a neighboring chief who commented on how much he liked the four statements. Little did he know that one of them had really struck a chord with me. Even though I had written them, I questioned their validity. Were we REALLY making a difference? Did the words stand true or were they just words on a challenge coin, on the walls of our stations and the signature block of our emails?
TEXAS FIRE CHIEF Fall/Winter 2012
I recall with great detail the pride that swelled within me when I fi rst saw myself in the uniform for the Arlington, Texas Fire Department. I had reached my goal! It couldn’t get any better than this. I was about to set the course of my fi re career with the department of my dreams. I was going to “make a difference” and I was going to do so with the best of the best! However, during my tenure there did I really make a difference? Sure, I have some really nice plaques of appreciation. I even possess the Chief’s Five Standards Award. I’m proud of each and every one of them. But what did I leave behind? Anything? When I later became chief of a neighboring department (much smaller but second to none in abilities and talent), I developed the first part of the phrase noted above. “Serving with Pride.” It was fitting. Those guys were good! Did they lack a bit of direction? Yes. Could they be stronger, wiser, better prepared? Of course. But who of us couldn’t or wouldn’t say the same?
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Texas Fire Chief - Fall/Winter 2012
2012 TFCA Executive Board
Montgomery County Fire Service Radio Analysis
Utilizing an Alternative Response Vehicle
Making a Difference
Form Follows Function in Firehouse Design Site Selection
Texas Fire Chiefs Academy - Austin
Index of Advertisers
Texas Fire Chief - Fall/Winter 2012