How to Develop a ‘Winning’ Culture in Your Firehouse


By O2X Instructor Alex Othmer 

The idea of culture comprises almost all human activities. Nothing important truly escapes the limits of culture. Culture has taken many forms and meanings throughout our history. Up until the mid to late 20th century, culture had largely been used to characterize societies and civilizations through ethnic, territorial, and racial bounds. Cultural history examines and evaluates the evolution of human civilizations by highlighting the different unique lifestyle choices made by a given population. Moreover, cultural history is the culmination of previous cultural activities, such as rituals, class behaviors, and environmental interface. Today, we employ the idea of culture in more modern settings. Put simply, culture has become a sort of buzzword. Specifically, the modern workplace environment has taken culture as its hostage; whether it’s the military hierarchal construct, politics, corporate America, or our first responder communities: culture is to blame when things go south and, on the contrary, invisible when things are running smoothly.

There is a very good reason why culture has taken a front and center seat in the modern workforce. Culture has earned itself strong, statistical relationships with employee burnout, turnover, and engagement, and is recognized as a primary marker for organizational internal and external identity. Culture is representative of the collective morals, values, and ethics of an organization and acts as a safety net during troubled times. We all are guilty of “derailing” at times; culture keeps us on track, ensuring that expectations are met and guiding principles are adhered to…

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