By Zac Varela

As you make your way in to your station, you can feel it. The tension. The anger. The sense of entitlement. Watch out! Because the off-going shift had to – GASP – run calls.

Everyone within sight of this post knows what I’m talking about. The shift before got hammered. Now, they believe they are the only firefighters on the planet that are “doing it.” And they’re going to bitch and moan about it too. As a result, the rig is out of fuel, the hose beds look like shit, the wrench is still sitting on a hydrant at 36th & Main, and the TIC is fucking gone. Gone! And their excuse? They were “doing it.”

What does that mean? Because you were doing what you swore to do you now are some how exempt from doing it with precision and discipline?Bullshit. We all run calls. We all get up at night. We all have to keep our shit dialed in. Our job – what we swore to do – is to run calls. No. Scratch that. What we swore to do is ANSWER THE CALL – no matter what it is or how ridiculous we may think it to be – somebody has lost control of their lives and now needs help. Enter the firefighter. Some one calls for help, we ANSWER THE CALL. Whether it is five times a day or fifty. Day or night. Sunny or shitty. Structure fire or ass wipe. We come running. We do it with precision and discipline because we are trained that way. And we do it with a smile on our face because we love our job and the people we serve.

When we are done with a call, we gear up, clean up and get squared away for the next call. Because that is our job. We ANSWER THE CALL. We can’t do that if we left our shit without fuel, our hose all fucked up and our tools scattered all over Hell. A firefighters mentality – before and after every call – should be “I’m ready for the next one” not “I hope that was the last one.”

ANSWER THE CALL. It’s that simple.