Brotherhood is a word that is preached endlessly in the Fire Service. However, for the majority of you, I don’t think you know what it means.
Now before you all get offended, hear me out. I think the majority understand the concept of brotherhood. However, until you have a personal tragedy in your life, the full impact of the brotherhood isn’t fully understood. We may do little things like help each other train, move, or be an ear to listen and give advice.
I speak from experience when I tell you there is so much more to the brotherhood than those small things. I’ve seen first hand the extent of the brotherhood when recently, a local Fire Department lost a long time member . The members of the department were contacted by other firefighters they had never even met who called and told them, “we’re here if you need ANYTHING.”
When I was diagnosed with Leukemia, I hadn’t even finished fire academy. Yet, the brotherhood stood up and accepted me as their own and supported my family and I in our fight. That support was paramount in me reaching my goal. As a result, I beat the Leukemia, went back to Fire Academy and graduated.
The brotherhood isn’t something that just “is” either. It’s an attitude. It takes hard work and dedication. The concept of the brotherhood should always be to put more into it than you get out of it. Think of the brotherhood as a glass of water. Without putting more water into it than you take out of it, it will eventually be empty.
As current members of the Fire Service, it’s up to us to keep the heart of the brotherhood strong. Without us working to keep the heart of the brotherhood pumping, it will die out and be no more. We all have to work hard to maintain the best part of the Fire Service, the brotherhood.