According to the recent statistics compiled by NFPA, firefighters in the US responded to about 36,746,500 emergencies in 2018, a whopping 2 million more than in 2017. This fact, alone, indicates the heroic role firefighters play in our society.
The responsibilities of firefighters include challenging tasks, from evacuating people in emergencies to managing hazardous situations to supplying resources after floods.
It’s a profession that requires valiance, mental stability, resilience, and most importantly, the following leadership traits.
Attribute 01: Truthfulness and Integrity
Trust is an essential element in a firefighter’s profession! If any firefighter receives negative feedback or limelight from others, the whole firefighting community suffers the setbacks.
Thus, firefighters need to possess a truthful, honest, and integral character to establish firm trust toward the general public and employers. It means that maintaining an empathetic and responsible attitude toward citizens is pivotal for firefighters. This will help them gain public trust and exercise the utmost integrity!
Truthfulness and integrity in a firefighter also speak for their earnest representation of the profession, both on-duty and off-duty. There’s nothing more significant than holding up the high standards of truthfulness and integrity for a firefighter.
Attribute 02: Physical Strength and Fitness
While most jobs don’t require high stamina or fitness, firefighters need to have vigorous agility and physical strength as essential traits. It’s because the nature of the firefighters’ jobs requires both physically and mentally challenging efforts.
While it isn’t a specific leadership trait, it strongly complements their attributes. Because no matter what, if you aren’t fit, you won’t be able to perform work. So, if you want to become a firefighter, embrace a lifestyle promoting physical health, fitness, and stamina!
When you invest in a healthy lifestyle, it consequently improves your mental health.
Attribute 03: Open to Communication
Undeniably, communication skills matter significantly in almost all professions, and the fire service is no exception!
Because being a firefighter, you’ll have to deal with several relationships altogether. Sometimes, it’s your colleagues, while other times, it’s frightened fire survivors. Therefore, practicing clear, polite, and open communication is a critical leadership trait for a firefighter.
You’ll have to share messages among your crew members, controlling annoying citizens, consoling victims, directing actions to the staff, training people to give CPR in a fire rescue, and in all these situations — communication skills come in most handy!
Moreover, a firefighting job requires a potential candidate to have good written communication skills as communication dynamics have changed, with people shifting more to sending emails.
Attribute 04: Resilience and Flexibility
One who can consume anything, rest anywhere, perform the job in all types of challenging situations, and survive in the toughest conditions without cramming is said to have a highly resilient and flexible character. Interestingly, possessing these leadership traits guarantee your success as a strong firefighter leader of tomorrow!
Conversely, if you find it challenging to embrace work-environment changes, you’ll experience difficulty pursuing a career as a firefighter! In fact, you might end up creating problems for others. Because being a firefighter means you have to exercise self-sacrifice and willingness to work under dynamic conditions.
You don’t always get a straightforward route to a fire incident venue. Thus, you have to adapt yourself quickly in life-threatening situations to provide constructive results.
Attribute 05: Commitment to Serve
In addition to being hardworking, firefighters are dedicated individuals. And this gives rise to another prominent leadership trait — commitment to serve!
They’re the people who actively embrace all the good, exciting, boring, fun, and monotonous aspects of their jobs. Successful firefighters possess a passion for service, a consistent drive to enhance skills, and become a better version of themselves. They take challenges with an open mind and sheer commitment to serve the victims, crew, and organizations effectively.
Attribute 06: A Team Leader and Player
Another significant leadership trait of a firefighter is to actively transition between playing a team player and a team leader simultaneously. Nevertheless, you need to have good team working skills if you’re planning to pursue a career in fire service.
Additionally, the team’s safety also relies on the team working capabilities of the firefighters. If any of the members don’t perform their duty well due to personal grudges, the whole team’s safety can be at stake.
Attribute 07: Forbearance, Patience, and Tolerance
Unlike other jobs, most aspects of the fire service involve dealing with stressors, like long working hours, tough life in quarters, or sometimes traumatic relations with coworkers.
Therefore, firefighters need to exhibit forbearance, patience, and tolerance traits to successfully ace their careers. Tolerance is also crucial to managing citizens at large.
Attribute 08: Buoyancy, Confidence, and Hopefulness
Finally, to instill confidence and optimism in frustrated victims, firefighters make the best use of the leadership traits, such as buoyancy, confidence, and hopefulness.
Firefighters generally experience emergencies where they can’t bear to think pessimistically. An intelligent firefighter will think proactively to figure out solutions in emergencies rather than whining or complaining.
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