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How “Good” is “Good”?

Updated: May 9, 2023

So, somewhere along the line, you decided that being a firefighter was your goal and your purpose. 


It may have been something that seemed to be “in your DNA” since you can remember. Or maybe, someone presented the idea to you and that seed grew and before you knew it, the drive to be a firefighter took over.


Origin story aside, you are now somewhere along the arc of your career as a paid/paid-on-call/volunteer professional firefighter. You have, no doubt, been engaged in a whack of preparation, courses, training, mentoring, coaching and experiences. You’re feeling pretty good about your skill set, who you are and what you bring “to the table”. Careful….


There will be a point, maybe more than one, when “good” becomes “good enough”. Due to your past successes and experiences, you think that perhaps “you have arrived”.  This is where complacency slides in and the 76th Law of Nature is “Calamity always follows Complacency”. Don’t believe me? Look it up.


“Good” should never be “good enough”.  To quote John Eversole, author of the Fire Chief’s Handbook –

“Our department takes 1,120 calls every day. Do you know how many of the calls the public expects perfection on? 1,120. Nobody calls the fire department and says, 'Send me two dumb-ass firemen in a pickup truck.' In three minutes they want five brain-surgeon, decathlon champions to come and solve all their problems.”

“Good” is often the enemy of “Great”.

We all assume it's a step on the path to great....but just as often, it is a roadblock; it's where we stop.

And unless you are constantly striving for “great”, you are cheating the community, your teammates, your family and yourself.

There should never be a point where you think you know enough. There should never be a point where you think your skills couldn’t use practice, polish or upgrade.


If any of my family or friends call 911, I want the hard-charging, educated, physically fit, disciplined, committed firefighters coming; not the "good ones"…the great ones.


Is that you?

See you on the Road


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