5 Reasons Community Within the Fire Service is Critical to Promotion

Building a community of people as you begin the firefighter promotion process, or even before, can be wildly beneficial to you. In your community you will find mentors, make friends, and also de-stress with people who understand the struggles associated with fire fighting.  

What is a Community?

Community is defined as, “the people living in one particular area or people who are considered as a unit because of their common interests, social group…” So like minded people doing like minded things. As fire fighters you are all automatically clumped into the community category, but it is important to take it a step further to get to know those within your local community and truly cultivate it. This may involve a whole lot of vulnerability and outreach but will be so worth it. 

Why Community Matters

  1. Opportunity For Mentorship

One great thing about being in a community of like-minded people is the potential for mentorship. You will be able to meet many different people who are all passionate about the same thing, fire fighting, and maybe meet that person who wants to take you under their wing and mentor you throughout your career. As a new or young firefighter gaining a mentor early on in your career can be a game changer. They can be a motivator to you, someone to look to for advice and questions, someone to go to when you are feeling all the feels that come with the job. Having a go-to person who you know is there and willing to help or just listen can be so beneficial to any firefighter no matter the rank. 

  1. Making Connections/Meeting New People

Another great benefit of being in a community of people going after the same goals is the connections you can make. If you have created a community where firefighters get to exist outside of the fire station the opportunity for connections with more people of all different ranks and departments is so much higher. You are much less likely to meet the captain of a station across town inside your station than you are if you have a community outside of the fire station where firefighters can hang out. These connections and relationships you build in your community may help you further down the line when it comes time to promote. I am not saying you will get the promotion just because you know the chief, you still have to work for it, but it may calm your nerves come interview time and so on. 

  1. Strengthens Existing Relationships

While a community is a great place to meet new people it also gives you the opportunity to get to know the people you work with every day on a deeper level. Sure you see these people often and work together and are a team. However, doing things outside of the station adds a whole new level to the relationship. You get to talk and just chill without the stress of the alarm for a call going off. You could even do things with each other's families to deepen your relationships even more. 

  1. Bonding Over Shared Experiences

Firefighting is a stressful job, you see a lot of good but you also see a lot of bad. Having a place to go to talk to people who have experienced the same or similar things can be so helpful. They can help you process things because they truly understand what you are going through and what you have seen. A spouse or friend outside of the firehouse may be more reactive to what you are saying because it may be shocking to them, while those in your firefighting community can just listen with less judgment and concern.

  1. It Just Feels Good

Honestly, it just feels good to be a part of something and that can greatly improve your mental health. Depending on what your firefighter community outside of the fire house looks like, it can give you something to look forward to, whether it's weekly hikes or monthly beach trips, you will always have something fun outside of work to do. Doing hobbies or just hanging out and connecting with people with the same goals and passions can be huge to help keep you motivated on your promotion journey and help keep you in the right headspace so you can reach your goals. 

The Takeaway

Some people want to go to work and go home, which is your right. However, if you want to be promoted in the fire service and climb that ladder to the top of the ranks you need to do more. You need to build a community and make connections with the other firefighters in your area. I am sure you will be surprised by the benefits from doing so and how much you enjoy having this space with like minded people to learn, grow and have fun.