Wednesday, October 16, 2013

We Do That

By Mark vonAppen

If you ask any fire service brother or sister what our job entails, most of us would reply, “How much time have you got?”  Our craft is an all encompassing, all risk profession in which we respond to about everything anyone can possibly think of. 

Fires?  We do that.
Medical emergencies?  We do that.
Car wrecks?  We do that.
Cat up a tree?  We do that.
Flooded basement?  We do that.

The list goes on, and on, for eternity.  If you can think of it, we’ve either done it, or we've been asked to do it by someone, somewhere, at some time.  We truly do it all and we have to celebrate the diversity of our profession.
“We do that” is rooted in a belief in service before self, treating everyone with respect, and working through adversity.
“We do that” comes from us.  It is ours, and it is a current that runs from the bottom to the top of our industry.  It is more than a mantra, it is our way, and it truly embodies who we are.  “We do that” was born from bearing witness to, and being a part of a group of brothers and sisters who are driven by a spirit of innovation and a desire to be part of something that is bigger than any one of us.  “We do that” is our collective soul. 

We make a difference in people's lives with every interaction, not only when the bell hits.  We have the opportunity to leave our fingerprint on every person we meet, whether customers or co-workers, as we share our passion for the craft.  “We do that” is rooted in a belief in service before self, treating everyone with respect, and working through adversity.

A select few people in the world have the privilege of  helping people on the worst day of their lives. 

We do that.

We are fire service brothers and sisters.  Do we make a difference in people's lives?  

Yes, we do that. 



  1. Many find it hard to believe that we are at the heart of the true definition of " customer service" or "community service". We hustle everyday to " do that" no matter what the task. Trick is to get this into the head of the new generation who watch TV firemen and think they are to good to suck water out of a basement or visit a school or read a book to pre school kids...God Bless the brothers that keep on "doing it"

  2. Hello Mark vonAppen,

    I agree with the fact that firefighters do the job because they love it and they believe it is a privilege to get to do their job. I also feel that this can be used as a great reason to provide communities with reasons to support the funding of their local fire departments.

    Would you mind reading my blog at I would like to have your perspective.

    Cody Bredman
    The Green Room at Iowa State University