Everyone struggles with it, from paid to volunteer, keeping it up is a problem (no pun intended). We have all found ourselves in the middle of morale problem at one time or another. Our actions dictate how ourselves and the members around us will fair in the troubled times. In many cases, blame is directed towards the higher ups of a department, while sometimes true, the larger problem I have found most likely lies within the membership itself as a whole. “You can’t tell me what to do, I am a volunteer!”, “We don’t get fires.”, and my favorite “It’s the Chiefs fault for (INSERT MISC DEPARTMENT PROBLEM HERE).” We have all most likely heard one if not all of these words uttered within the walls of our stations or on scene.
When morale takes a dive, general interest is lost within the department. Members no longer want to train, make calls, help out at fund raisers, or even hang around the station in their free time. By becoming a positive agent of change, even the newest members can boost morale with a positive outlook. Show up to training, help out at fundraisers, ask questions, share knowledge, and most of all, have fun! Instead of bickering and Monday morning quarterbacking everything, give some constructive criticism. The swim upstream may be very tough, but it will feel very rewarding when you start to see your fellow brothers & sisters morale improve because of your actions!