As much as we talk about being focused and into the job on duty, it is equally important to decompress off-duty.

Like most of you, the fire service is not just my job, but my chosen trade. I devote a lot of my spare time off-duty to improving my fireground performance. From attending classes, to getting extra practice dialing in skills, to focusing on physical fitness.

Becoming truly proficient in all areas of this craft requires discipline and dedication, beyond the required minimum set by the department.

However, it’s easy for the scales of work/life balance to tip over leaving us, and our families, burned out. It’s important to keep our priorities in the right order.

Take time to do things you enjoy, spend time with family and friends, get away. Do good work, on the job and off.

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