It’s launch day. Mission Ready is coming off stand-by.
We would like to start this venture by explaining why the project was created and introduce the values that will drive it.
If you are a first responder, you understand the concept of ‘standing by.’
There is a potential emergency in the community and your asset has been placed on the status of ‘get ready, we may need you.’
So, you wait in station and listen to the radio chatter, focusing on the potential dispatch and the role you will play.
As you wait and anticipate the call, you might not be considering the amount of preparation that has brought you to that moment; the studying, the drilling, the testing.
Your knowledge and skills are ready for the call to duty. The patch on your sleeve or the badge on your chest declare that you have met the standard; you are competent.
But, are you ready?
First responder training traditionally (and appropriately) places the physical skills and safety vigilance at the front of the curriculum. Emergencies often require the very best of first responder knowledge and tactics. Vehicle extrication, armed individual take downs, cardiac arrest algorithms, complex structure fires, civil enforcement, trauma resuscitation are all possible scenarios for fire police and EMS, any day, several times a day. We never truly know what we will experience one shift to the next.
However, what is a guaranteed encounter, every hour of every day, is a connection with people. We interact constantly with strangers in the community, colleagues in the service, co-workers and our own families. Our profession is the constant interaction of our individual personality and values meeting the personalities and values of others.
In the end, being a first responder is always about people.
Again, are you ready?
Please understand, whenever I say you, I am also saying me and everyone behind Mission Ready. We are servants and responders, just like you. This project is both an project for excellence in the profession as it is an aspiration for personal growth for the Mission Ready team.
Our goals are to move the profession way beyond competence, to create more inspired, passionate responders that operate with a higher, more complete professional standard.
In the service of others, there is always room to improve.
So, where do we begin?
At the very center of each of us - character.
The service of others, often times in their worst moments, in unfamiliar, unpredictable environments is not at all ordinary work. It requires a particularly strong and well developed character.
At Mission Ready, we believe there are 3 Vital principles that structure the character of an effective first responder: Purpose, Integrity and Courage.
"Waste no more time arguing what a good person should be. Be one." - Marcus Aurelius
Purpose is our code.
That very personal list of values within each of us that power our motivations, Purpose, simply is the source of why we do what we do.
This collection of values drives our decisions, from the smallest habits to the massively important, existential choices in our lives.
As first responders, our personal decisions can weigh heavy on the lives of others, so the importance of Purpose cannot be overstated.
Despite this importance, the truth is, many of us have never taken the time to inspect our values or consider their sources.
Some values we consciously adopt as we experience life. Some values we inherit from our upbringing, some we borrow from the tribes in which we run.
Regardless of the source, what we each must do, most importantly - is choose for ourselves the values that will comprise our Purpose.
Responder values like accountability, resilience, compassion, respect, leadership, honesty and gritty optimism are only as valuable, as they are operational. Which is why there is the next principle.
"What you do serves as the proof of what you believe." - Simon Sinek
Integrity is congruence between our code, our words and our actions.
Simply, it is consistency.
Integrity is assuring that we say and do things in alignment with what we believe.
Much less what we know and more about what we are; Integrity is our Purpose in action.
When we act within our Integrity, we are self aware, we make decisions in alignment with our code, we live more intentionally; we are vectored by significance.
It is a must in a profession with such high demands for accountability. Drifting outside of Integrity has been proven to cause personal stress, interpersonal conflicts and distrust. In first response, the stakes can be so much higher.
Integrity makes us authentic and reliable, which makes living honestly so much easier.
Integrity creates consistency and the framework for personal resilience. It is the keystone for interpersonal trust and it attracts like-minded and similarly purposed people.
Is living in Integrity easy? No, not always.
So, there is the third principle...
“Courage is not simply one of the virtues, but the form of every virtue at the testing point.” - C.S. Lewis
If Integrity is Purpose in action; Courage is the fuel and fire of that action.
To be clear, we are not describing courage traditionally; as in the raw valor it takes to rush toward danger while others run away. Courage as a Vital principle is actually much more than that.
Courage is the master key to a more significant life.
It emboldens us to reach and it fosters decisive action.
Courage allows us to be vulnerable, to learn constantly from our experience. It takes Courage to ask for help and to receive the feedback that makes us better.
It takes Courage to speak up; to step forward from the safety of the group and to challenge the standard. It takes Courage to lead.
Courage simply, makes us more effective.
We are very excited to get started on this journey, with all of you. Thank you for joining and supporting our effort to challenge our profession and raise the standard from the inside-out.
At Mission Ready we promise to live and operate, on our end, through these listed principles as we commit to bring you our very best.
The mission is a go.
You have been called to make a difference.