A powerful word indeed, and it has many meanings. You will have to demand and command strength to pursue a career in Fire-Rescue.
Physical strength is required regardless of your gender and/or size. Does it mean that everybody who is in shape is capable?
Nerves of steel, strength of mind and character. The ability to believe in yourself when people around doubt you, want to change the course of your chosen path by intimidation, enticement or threatening your resolve to thrive in spite of the obstacles thrown your way.
It is not my intention to scare you, but to prepare you for all of the above.
The stares, glares, and whispering begin upon your arrival the first day of boot camp. That is where your strength of character and determination begin. Both men and women will size you up and make premature assumptions as to whether you are going to cut the mustard or not. And that goes for the instructors too.
That is the first test to see how you react.
Stay calm, cool and focused. They don’t know you and/or what your made of yet. I learned quickly that the person who looks the most intimidating can turn out to be the biggest whiner of them all, or your biggest advocate.
Oh, you must have bravado, even in the face of the uncertain, and that is where the instructors will try to break you down.
That is their job.
The thought process is that when you break down the group, exposing their weaknesses, fears and phobia’s, they will come together, bond, and help each other get through a tough day, becoming more resilient as a group throughout the training process. After all, boot camp is nothing compared to the very real situations you will come across and have to manage and mitigate when on the job.
Strength of character is just as important as physical and mental strength.
Trust me when I tell you that.
You will quickly learn who has your back no matter what, who will twist the knife deeper, and throw you under the bus for their own self gain. Some of them will try to get to know you better on a more personal level, if you get my drift, and don’t forget those who just have preconceived notions that women are better equipped to stay in the kitchen, become teachers, secretaries or nurses.
Those professions are to be commended, but that is not what you signed up for, and by relaying such information to you, I hope it continues to strengthen your resolve to continue in your quest to pursue this profession.
Just remember that strength, courage, tenacity, and finally, resolution to take whatever is thrown at you will shape your future as a Firefighter-Paramedic.
Until next time;