New to the Job? Or did your station just hire on a Probie? Either way- you need to learn about your newest coworker. Firefighter’s risk their lives and you can’t have someone on your team that you don’t trust.
But sitting down and grilling them (or hazing them) is really frowned upon- especially if you’ve ever made somebody quit. Gotta stop being a salty dog and change your tactics!
So when you have all these firefighters together, most of the time they crack inappropriate jokes. Which is funny… the first 50 times. Now you want to get to know your shift (wether they are a bunch of salty dogs or the newest jake), but you don’t know where to start? As great as it is to enjoy some humor, it doesn’t always fit with the needs of the fire department crew.
Well your in luck! I’ve got lots of HR experience, so I compiled a list of things that you can talk about besides picking on the probie and cracking ‘whose your daddy’ jokes. I promise that only half of them are related to the fire service!
The first 5 are Fire Related
20. Should we bring back firefighter calendars?
And no, it doesn’t have to be all muscle-bob-buff-pants, lots of people are rocking a dad bod. If you don’t believe me just check out instagram.
19. Speaking of Instagram, should firefighters be able to post picture of the job on their personal social media accounts?
Although this is probably more of a generational thing, its still good to talk about. Social media isn’t going away anytime soon.
18. Whats the value in having a station mascot or dog?
Think Fido would help us with the public image.
17. Whats next in terms of training? Do you plan to go back to school or attend any conferences?
Which is a great question to ask, you never know what local training might be available. Never stop training!
16. Did anyone else ever dream of being a firefighter when they were a kid? What caused you to join the fire service.
My Husband actually wanted to be a police officer *gasp!* so that he could follow in the footsteps of his grandfather. Thankfully he wised up and became a firefighter.
15 other topics- not Fire related
15. If you could go to any country in the world, what would you eat while you were there?
We always talk about what we would see, but what are we supposed to eat. My Husband said his sister ate Mcdonalds chicken nuggets the entire time she was in Russia…
14. What’s your favorite restaurant that most other people don’t go to?
Which is a great question to ask, because firefighters love their food!
13.If you could have any superpower, what would it be.
In case you are wondering, I would like to be invisible or to fly, preferably both.
12. If you won the lottery, what would you do with it? Would you still show up to work the next day?
While rare, it could totally happen. You should probably get it in writing that your shift mate said they would buy you a truck if they won the lottery though.
11. When you retire what kind of person do you see yourself being?
I’d like to live on a farm somewhere surrounding by lots of cute baby animals.
10. What is Happiness to you? And are you happy today?
While this is a loaded question, it can also help you keep tabs on your crew and their mental health. We need to do everything we can to help our brothers and sisters fight for their happiness.
9. Do you have a secret recipe?
Because their are some firefighters that can cook… and then their are some that can cook! You should be super friendly to that people that make you food.
8. What do you do to reduce stress?
I can see some firefighters having some silly responses, but in all seriousness, this job can be stressful. Its cool to acknowledge it and maybe learn about a new stress reliever that fits in with your job. I’ve got some great suggestions of stress management you can do on shift too!
7. Do you sleep good when you’re at home? Where do you get the best night sleep at?
Again, something that could provide some needed conversations about risks of the job that no one really likes to bring up.
6. Whats the most important invention related to our job? It can be equipment or a tactical skill.
This answer might surprise you! I’m a big fan of SCBA’s, but some could argue that a jacked up tower truck is the best thing since sliced bread.
5. Whats the craziest thing you’ve ever done for someone you liked romantically?
Once I went zip-lining, and then he proposed. If I would have said no, I’m pretty sure he would have pushed me to my death. But we’ll never know, because I said yes.
4. Have you ever regretted a purchase? What did you do about it?
Yes. Her name begins with A, and she’s 50lbs of stubborn mutt. Naturally I kept her and made her apart of our family.
3. What was the best surprise you’ve ever gotten?
My roommate bought me a cat once. That was kinda nice.
2. Do you have any secret talents?
If I told the internet, it would no longer be a secret. My husband does work with someone that used to be in a circus though…
1.If you could only talk on the phone OR text for the rest of your life, which one would you choose.
I’d have to choose the phone. It would be very lonely if I never got to hear my families voice. Texting is useful, just not the only option I’d want for forever.
Hopefully, you can strike up a conversation (and not a match) with these conversation starters- or scare the new guy with your corny jokes.
Seriously, though. The Brotherhood is important- and it’s not dead or gone or bullshit. This job is hard, so we need to have each other’s backs!
If you like what you see, share it.
Or send it to that guy that always makes things awkward with his weird comments, maybe he can get a few fresh ideas.
If you liked this, you’ll love 20 things the Perfect Firefighter Doesn’t want you to know.