I like to think I am a Professional. When summoned to headquarters or even stopping by to see the clerks at payroll, I’m in a new uniform shirt, cap and tie because you never know when you’ll bump into the Chief of Department.

So imagine my surprise when we responded to our Headquarters on a medical call and I found myself without my button-up shirt.

Not really listening to the guys calling out jokingly “Grab your shirts!” I donned my navy blue, collared job shirt, zipped it up and climbed into the fire engine to respond.

20 minutes later I was doing a walk of shame.

Lessons I’ve learned from this event:
1. Always have your shirt at the ready. Whether you are anywhere near HQ or not, if you’re not wearing it, put it on the engine anyways.

2. If you find yourself without it and out in public, don your safety coat instead of wearing just your shirtsleeves. You shouldn’t be wearing your shirtsleeves out anyways.

3. When you see your engine mates donning their safety coats OVER their uniform shirts, follow suite and do the same, even if the call is a possible cardiac.

4. While assessing the patient and the Chief walks in, focus on patient care, there is time for chit chat later.

5. When the Chief says “Nice Sweatshirt” in the same tone one might say “Hey you cut me off in traffic,” do not say “Thank you, Sir” while taking the blood pressure.

6. And by all means, when important papers still have to pass through that Chief’s office for certain blog related issues, avoid this situation entirely.


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