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 W 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? 19 http://www.texasfirechiefs.org

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Texas Fire Chief - Fall/Winter 2012

2012 TFCA Executive Board
President’s Message
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
Region Map
Membership Form
Index of Advertisers

Texas Fire Chief - Fall/Winter 2012