Homepage / Firefighting / Washing the Chief's Car
FDIC 2017 – Structural Response to Aviation Incidents: Engine Company Operations I Got Lost Going to a Call – So I made sure everyone knew about it Crossover Podcast Ep 102 Mrs Happy Medic and Mike the Cop Arby’s Roast Beef Ad angers EMTs, not sure why Strippers and Cocaine watch – 2017 Seizures! Seizures Everywhere! Nothing is certain except death and taxes. I can help you with both What to do when the powers that be – just can’t. Episode 99 the Crossover Ep 98 – Off Duty and Fancy Free NO is Never Easy to Hear Ohio Cop vs Ambulance Crew Member on Video – Crossover Show Investigates! An MCI With Wings: Aviation Incidents EMS Today 2017 First in Ambulance MCI at EMS Today 2017 Crossover Show Learns How to Take a Joke To Haul or Not to Haul – Should the Complexity of a Refusal Influence Transport? Crossover Show – Ep 91 – ACLU cameras Tip of the Helmet – Bj’s Brewhouse the Crossover Show – Episode Eighty Eight Eminence Based Medicine If You Don’t Give Him Insulin He’s Going to Die Lost Cause Strikes Again the Crossover Podcast – Ep 85 – Florida Cry Baby “I Can’t Breathe!” you keep using those words… the Crossover Show – 84 – TN Bus Crash Happy 150th Anniversary San Francisco Fire Department! Thank You For Your Service? A Complete Secondary Assessment the Crossover Episode 81 – Let’s Talk Politics! Aircraft skids off runway, rescue task force ill equipped Crossover Show – Ep 79 – Do we need so much active shooter training? How to Ignore Everyone in the Room: Be an Intern Your Meme is Bad and You’re Not One of Us Anymore Goodbye tarps, I never loved you The Crossover Episode 76 – Flashback to the Beginning You found me how? Less CSI, More Columbo EMS Festival Standby – You can’t just park a car there the Crossover Show Ep 72 – Florida EMT photo game A&O vs able to make decisions Kilted to Kick Cancer Cops vs Firemen Writer calls for Medics to risk more in shootings, misses the target What’s with the French? the Crossover – Ep 69 – Twelve Ninety Désolé the Crossover Show – Ep 67 – Traffic Stops and Profiling Actually, Officer, No. It Really isn’t that hard to try When Patients Don’t Play by the Old Rules Letters in the File – Oklaloosa Selfies the Crossover Podcast – Ep 64 – Turning Passion into Retirement Why Pokemon GO is so much like EMS Us Against Us Apathy is worse than absence So Now I’m Back! Changes are a-comin’ The Sounds of Silence I know that feel, Bro TCS – Ep 59 – SHOOT HIM! CISD with OK GO part VI the Crossover – Ep 56 – Rooms for Shooting the Ballad of Big Dave the Crossover Episode 55 – Text me Bro Why vs How and Book vs Street A Mother’s Day Crossover Show Dear Valencia County Fire Chiefs Dear Random Township Fire Department at FDIC the Crossover Show – ep 50 – Revenge of the Vine Stars Strippers and Cocaine need your help Educational Standards in EMS Engine Company First Strike MCI – FDIC 2016 the Crossover Show – Ep 48 – What’s in your feed? Washing the Chief’s Car What Should I Do With This Knife? – The Crossover Ep 46 Firefighter Jokes Medical/Legal Advice, Google Style the Crossover Show – Episode 45 – Cop Vines and the Cajun John Wayne You Make the Call ebook Now Available To the Intern Who Froze the Crossover Show – Episode 44 – Day of Remembrance New at Uniform Stories – Raising Revenue BLS Fire Officer or Paramedic – Who Makes Scene Decisions? the Crossover Show – Episode 43 – Viewer Questions Why Budgeting Matters – Our Plumbing Nightmare the Crossover Show – Episode 42 – Protesting a Rally with a March DC FEMS MD Quits, calls FD Leadership “Toxic” the Crossover Show – Episode 41 – America Ball The more things change… Hey Board of Supervisors, You’re Remembering the Wrong People the Crossover Show – Episode 38 – How not to Get Tazered the Crossover Show – Episode 37 – What Makes a Good Chief? Johnny and Roy lied to me – I write receipts Defining System Abuse – A Response to Ambulance Chaser the Crossover Show – Episode 36 – Perception vs Reality Good Morning America skims over Fatigue in EMS Police-24,336,756 EMS-4 EMS Bike Program from the ground up Become a Patron of the Arts – Support the Crossover Show! Engine Company First Strike MCI in San Bernardino Video Shows Woman Banging on Ambulance Accusing Them of Organ Harvesting


Washing the Chief’s Car

When I was a young Explorer Scout riding along on Engine 31 in my hometown I had the opportunity to learn about the modern Fire Service from some amazing mentors.  It was at this house that I learned about the future of EMS in the service, what death looks like and the very beginnings of what it means to be part of a team.

I was reminded of this recently when rig washing day rolled around.

When I was an Explorer I clearly remember Firefighter Pokey (Yes his real name) grabbing me and telling me to get out back, fast.  Outside the back bay doors was the Chief’s Suburban.  He was on his normal daily circuit of the houses in his Battalion.  FF Pokey and I quickly got to washing the car.  When we were finished drying it off he climbed in and parked it facing the other way and we went back inside.

When I asked Pokey why we did that, his answer stuck with me:

“Always wash the Chief’s car first.  That shows respect.  Then park it the other way so they notice.  That shows that it was us without telling him.”

As a Captain I always wash my own buggy, but on Saturdays we wash all the rigs.  After the morning meeting broke up I went out to the closet, prepped a bucket, grabbed some towels, pulled a hose and pulled the Chief’s buggy onto the apron.

Then I washed it.

The Chief came walking out a few minutes later to see my drying off her buggy and she asked why I was washing her buggy and not my own.

“I’ll get to mine.  We wash yours first, preferably without you here, old habits die hard I guess,” And I told her what 16 year old me learned long, long ago.


While memes pop up about good leaders doing the dirty work, let’s not forget that no matter how much they want to chip in and do the little things, they deserve your attention in doing the little things first.

Chiefs can wash dishes, sure, but they’ll have to pay careful attention to the sponge when I’m around.  They always seem to get an important phone call when they step up to wash and I’m nearby.

Chiefs can wash Engines, sure, but wouldn’t it be nice if they were already clean?


Go the extra mile and wash the Chief’s car first.  Then, when the new guy shows up, do what FF Pokey did for me.  Grab them by the arm and show them what to do and why.  You’ll be influencing the next generation of the Fire Service.

Related posts:

Post a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *