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Positive Attitude

Cultivating a Positive Team in The Fire and EMS Services

A positive attitude is sometimes lacking in the fire and EMS services. There are many reasons for this. The city or village leadership may erode positivity. The leadership of the department may also erode positivity. Circumstances may also chip away at morale, and finally, personal issues may affect a member of the team! 

We will discuss this over the next few blog posts.

Lets first talk about the department's actual boss - The elected leaders of the town, village, city etc that has jurisdiction over the agency or department.

These leaders have expectations, with increased duties and responsibilities and those expectations continually change. These leaders determine the agency budget. It has been my experience that budgets can be cut with no justification or notice. Your agency is simply forced to do more with less. This results in not being able to make purchases of life saving equipment, apparatus, squads and basic basic supplies. It may mean no raises for personnel, closing of buildings, consolidation and even layoffs. For an ambulance or fire rescue squad transport service, the fees may be raised on transport which can improve the budget somewhat however fire departments do not charge for their responses for the most part. All of these pressures occur frequently and erode positivity in the team(s) within the agency or department.

In the fire and EMS service we have an extremely diverse population. There are members of every walk of life, skill set, race gender etc. Each of these bring a unique perspective to the team, and yes, some are more sensitive to these pressures than others. Some find a way to keep their morale high and some degrade into a negative attitude.

Lets face it, it is hard to stay positive when you or your other members of your work family are facing a layoff, or no COLA raise. How can you not have defibrillator pads? Exam gloves? Dressings and bandages? New turnout gear?

The next blog entry will look at how department leadership can erode positivity!

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