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I need a hero – Aerial firefighting

It seems that aerialfirefighting pilots are often portrayed as heroic figures who risk their lives to fight fires.

Far from reality!

✅ Commitment, professionalism, and purpose in a demanding environment: YES.

❌ Heroism and risking our lives: NO.

🗣 As Chuck Yeager stated once, as well as the video below portrays as a parody of how biased the perspective could be, “lots of pilots talk a good game, and sometimes their stories get better with each telling.”. These hero talks, together with the haloeffect promoted on news, feed our pilots’ “ego monster”, creating a false idealization quite distant from reality.

📢 As career firefighters, we avoid those labels and stereotypes. We are well aware of the negative effects emotional implications can have during emergencies. While for most an emergency operation represents an extraordinary event, for us, it is a day-to-day operation run through well-defined safety margins.

🚨 In the same way an emergency medicine resident should not empathize with a patient in cardiac arrest, or the helicopter pilot evacuating life-death cases must maintain standard operating procedures and safety margins, the firefighting pilot must also operate by avoiding or delaying basic emotions. Providing cognitive distance helps us evaluate everything more objectively and calmly.

🛑 It is imperative for those who feel they are risking their lives to stop and reevaluate immediately.

🤔 Aerial firefighting continues to be mistaken for the last playground before retirement, a transition job to build hours towards the airlines, or even a temporary job while we recover from Covid unemployment.

⛔ Au contraire mon frère, it is a career where shortcuts tend to be unforgiving and where we need to work hard to build up specific competences.

👉 This video will provide a more realistic approach to what we do and how we do it.

👉 This article describes how to effectively transition to become an aerial Firefighter and highlights the relevance of skills transfer.

🎯 If you meet the pre-requisites, as an instructor/examiner, I won’t care about your past, your ethnicity, nationality, age, gender, whether you are civil or military, and how many bars and stars you have. Past glow belongs to the past and will only impress your specific tribe, the non-specialized public, and your grandchildren.

Our primary interest is in your current performance on specific competences, your professionalism, attitude, and your consistency in learning.

Although some might do, not all heroes wear a cape, a flight suit, bars and stars. We are more likely to see real heroes without capes and flight suits:

 

As much as I like Bonnie Tyler and I get goosebumps watching Shrek smacking the bad guys to the rhythm of “I need a hero”, on this occasion I should support Tinna Turner.

❤️ Yes, Tina, “we don’t need another hero”!

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