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From the Author

By Jim Moss

The following is an excerpt from Firefighter Success.
When lives depend on us, success is our only option.

First and foremost, I am extremely grateful this book is in your hands. Whether you purchased it for yourself or it was gifted to you, it will be a worthwhile investment of your time. Perhaps you have 30 years on this job or maybe you only have 30 days as a firefighter … either way, I am sure that you will find its principles to be helpful and inspiring for the rest of your career. 

I have poured my passion into every sentence of this book, with the singular mission of helping every firefighter achieve excellence in their careers and in their personal lives. It is my honest desire to see every firefighter succeed—and that is why I wrote this book. 

I did not “invent” Firefighter Success’ principles. I have learned them from successful firefighters, and from successful individuals outside of the fire service. I have also learned from my experiences and especially from my mistakes. I have been inspired by many areas of my life: my faith, my mentors, my family and friends, and more.

I will be the first to admit that I am not a perfect example of everything contained in this book. Just like you, I am a work in progress on my journey to continuous improvement and success.

What Is Success?

If we surveyed 100 firefighters to ask them their definition of success, we would most likely get 100 different responses. However, there is one belief we must all have in common: When lives depend on us, success is our only option

For the purpose of this book, firefighter success is defined as:

  • Achieving excellence in every aspect of life: as a firefighter, in our personal lives, with our families, etc., 
  • Striving for continuous self-improvement and growth,
  • Maximizing and achieving our potential,
  • Doing the best we can with what we are given,
  • Leaving a positive, lasting impact on others, and
  • Refusing to give in to failure.
We Are More Than Skills, Strategies, and Tactics.

As fire recruits and new firefighters, we are typically only taught the skills of the job. But becoming a successful firefighter is so much more than just the job performance requirements. Achieving excellence, growth, and maximizing our potential goes far beyond basic competencies and technical knowledge. As firefighters, our long-term success is dependent on the 20 C’s found in this book: character, confidence, courage, compassion, etc. (just to name a few). When we adopt Firefighter Success’ principles and live them out through action, we build rock-solid foundations to incredibly rewarding careers and lives.

Everyone’s journey to success is unique, and we must know the process isn’t one-size-fits-all. All of us have different strengths and weaknesses; therefore, we each have multiple areas for improvement and growth. No matter what we do or how slow we go, we will always move forward. We will focus on making progress and becoming the best that we can possibly be.

Success is a journey. Make it your own.

Success Is Not . . .

Firefighter success is not strictly determined by:

  • Rank, position, or power,
  • Time on the job,
  • Seniority, 
  • Salary,
  • Accolades, or
  • How many fires, rescues, or calls a firefighter has under their belt.

Each of these qualities are noteworthy, but they are not requirements to achieving success. I know firefighters who can check off all of the aforementioned list, but they are not successful because they only care about themselves. They are arrogant, rude, and don’t want to help other firefighters succeed. All that they care about is what is best for them, not what is best for everyone else and the fire service.

At the end of our careers, we will be able to say we gave it our all. We will be able to say we made a lasting impact on our communities, our fellow firefighters, our fire departments, and the fire service as a whole. The time that we spent being firefighters will have positively changed everyone and everything we touched. 

We will leave a legacy worth following.

How to Use This Book

Firefighter Success is divided into 20 chapters. Each describes a core principle for success that begins with a C. You may have learned about these principles before, but we will discuss how each specifically applies to you as a firefighter and the fire service. You will see recurring themes throughout the book, and some of the principles share very obvious commonalities—this is not an accident

At the end of each chapter, you will find Action Steps, which will give you practical ways to implement Firefighter Success’ principles. Some chapters will have exercises and questions. To get the most out of our time together, I encourage you to complete them all, giving them serious thought and effort. 

I recommend that you initially read Firefighter Success straight through, without pausing, to meditate on the details. Then go back through each chapter more methodically—highlight, make notes, take photos of quotes and passages that impact you, share them with friends and on social media, etc. Most importantly, apply the principles and Action Steps to your daily life and career.

If you enjoy what you read and want even more great content, head to There you can download the free Special Report: 101 Rules For Firefighter Success and also learn from successful firefighters and fire service leaders on the Firefighter Success Podcast.

Lastly, I want to thank you for your dedication to the fire service. Never stop raising the bar. Never stop learning. Never settle for mediocrity. And don’t let anyone stand in your way of achieving success. You are meant for greatness. Stay safe out there.

Jim Moss

Author – Firefighter Success

Continue Reading Firefighter Success
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