Monday, October 1, 2012
What makes an "elite" firefighter? Well elite firefighters have invested a tremendous amount of time mastering his or her skill set through thousands of hours of training and experiences. Now looking at experience alone, the elite firefighter has been provided opportunities to succeed from other people who invested time in said development. The author Malcomb Gladwell wrote in his book "Outliers" that "People do not rise from nothing. We do owe something to parentage and patronage. The people who stand before kings may look like they did it all by themselves. But in fact they are invariably the beneficiaries of hidden advantages and extraordinary opportunities and cultural legacies that allow them to learn and work hard and make sense of the world in ways others cannot." If we were to overlay Gladwell's quote to the fire service, firefighters in reality are molded or influenced by the people for which they work for. Each of us one way or another are a reflection of our cultural upbringing. Some of those "opportunities" Gladwell speaks of in the fire service would be the instructors and officers who trained and provided the very first exposure to the brotherhood.