Monday, August 23, 2010

A bit of burnout

I've been doing a lot of thinking lately. I've had a fair bit of time to sit back and assess where I'm at in life, compared to where I want to be. Sure, I've got some really neat things going for me. I also am strapped pretty tightly because of those luxuries, I have been for quite a while.

As I sit back and ponder my career, I'm not sure if I'm actually happy anymore. I love being a firefighter and an EMT, don't get me wrong, I'm just not sure if my department is the right one for me anymore.

There have been a lot of changes going on. I knew they were coming, I even joined others in wishing for some of them. I'm just not so sure anymore. Morale is still tanked. There's just as much distrust among the ranks as before, except now, we have even more evidence against those we feel are incapable of their duties (or number and arrangement of bugles). Don't even get me started on how the powers that be have really screwed things up around here.

I've been thinking more and more about jumping ship to another department. I have no clue where I'd go. The worst part would be starting over, being *the* rookie again, no longer able to drive, unfamiliar with the territory/crew/equipment. I just don't know what I want.

I do know I need to do something to rejuvinate my love for going to work. I used to have trouble sleeping the night before shift because of excitement. Now, I still have trouble sleeping, but it's not excitement that keeps me awake. This is a large part of why I've fallen so quiet with my posting. I just don't get excited about work, and it's so hard to share stories and experiences when your attitude is crushed.

Any guys/gals out there willing to offer any advice? I'd love to hear it. I'm in a real funk right now.


Hydrant girl said...

Don't be afraid of change, and my grandma always used to say if you've already started thinking about moving on then mentally you have. It doesn't hurt to see what's out there.......

Lunchbox said...

Hang tough, physically and emotionally. I can sympathize with your plight- I just started at a new department after long enough at the last job to be a chauffer and second most senior FF on my shift. Now I am *the* probie in an unfamiliar area/department/county, and working in ARFF which is totally foreign to me... all because my job was being taken away from me due to closure.

You CAN do it, even if it's a difficult choice. There are lots of POSITIVE things that can come from starting over:

YOU get to reinvent yourself- they don't know your personality, habits, 'defects'... when you come on the job, you get to re-make yourself as you want to be.

There's lots to learn. You get to grow personally and professionally, fill out your resume for the future, gain experience and wisdom from the senior people at a new place. Use it as a tool to broaden your experience-base, make yourself a better firefighter/EMT.

You don't have the weight of the "old place" on your shoulders any more. I used this analogy to refer to my old job (I've been on-shift at the new job for 4 shifts now...): "After you're miserable for so long, you get to where you're happy being miserable". It doesn't reduce the stress being unhappy causes, you just learned to deal with it. Those stresses just 'melt away' when you get to the new place. It's GREAT!

Good luck either way. Change is necessary for growth. Just as we repot plants so they can grow, we must occasionally 'repot' ourselves in order to thrive.

Reformed Yankee said...

I spent 20 years in EMS/FD/Air medical before I went into law enforcement. I've been a cop now for almost 18 months and am having an absolute blast. 12 hour shifts, a nice change of pace and a whole new challenge for me. I still work part time in EMS but wouldn't go back full time in EMS or Fire for anything.

Mr. Police Man said...