On The Front Lines

By: Damon Ruemmele

I hope this blog finds you and your loved ones healthy and with a newfound perspective on what’s truly valuable in your life. I was asked to highlight differences and similarities between my career of 23 years as a firefighter and my budding career with Pulse Group. You may think at first there are not a lot of similarities, but as I develop my place at Pulse Group, I have started to see a growing correlation.

Physical demand and Structure The biggest difference is in the physical demand and structure of the workplace. The fire department is a para-military organization with a chain of command so it was weird to come into my role at Pulse Group and have equal footing in the room allowing me to provide insight on important projects. But the two, seemingly divergent jobs, start to mirror each other when you dig deeper.

Time Management The first thing that comes to mind as a similarity is time management. In the fire service there are many responsibilities that consume my time every day including, but not limited to, training, community events, department business, and running emergency calls. Anyone who has been on a job site for an install, programming, or deployment knows that time management is paramount as it relates to client needs and providing quality work and this concept is the same with the tasks I have to get done as a firefighter.

Problem Solving The next similarity is with problem-solving. People call 911 because they need help with a problem they’re unable to solve. Automation also poses a never-ending combination of issues to create a finished product.

Customer Service The final thing I would like to highlight is customer service. Customer service is the backbone of what we do in the fire service. We have to be able to perform our job and deliver our skills in a way that is sensitive to the circumstances in which we were called. I think that same mentality helps on deployments with Pulse Group. Keeping an eye towards our clients will ensure that we get called back and they spread the good word.

From my own experiences, I’m left wondering how our careers will look when we get back a bit of normalcy after COVID-19 measures begin to phase out. The fire department already operates outside of what we consider “normal.” For example, we don’t just blanketly advise everyone to go to the hospital if they have a medical problem. You might be unnecessarily exposing yourself. We also interact with patients and family members in a much more hands-off approach which comes across as unprofessional at times. We now take temperatures twice a day for all firefighters and are required to wear masks in the station. Masks in the station is where we get a lot of push back. This decision has limited our exposure to each other at the dinner table. Meals are a HUGE part of the fire service. This is where we discuss political views, rib the guy who made a mistake, hear about family struggles, and offer our “Joe” advice even when it’s not wanted but we are very good at adapting and I’m very proud that we will continue to provide good service.

Circling back to pride I’m reminded of one more similarity between the two professions. I have a tremendous amount of pride in the work we do and the relationships that we build at Pulse Group. Even though I’m still working as a firefighter, I’m confident that I will come out of this with a better lense to view life through. With all the uncertainty surrounding this pandemic, I found it refreshing to sit down and ponder on my experiences as part of Pulse Group and the fire service.

Lastly, if I can answer any questions related to either of my experiences please don’t hesitate to contact me. We’re in this together.