Don’t be a Poser


Growing up on the Gulf Coast, and in particular a surfing town, I am well aware of what a poser is. A poser is someone that wants to be a part of something, or is viewed as part of something without the full commitment. See you have true surfers, the ones that get up before dawn when it’s 30 degrees outside and the water temperature is below 70, just to catch a few waves. You also have the ones that carry a board on top of their car 24/7, but that board rarely sees time in the water. The board is for looks, and lets all around you know you are a surfer. By now, you must be thinking…..how does this relate to the fire service? We have more fire posers than the world of surfing has surf posers. The other issue is, surf posers don’t ever get financially compensated unless they have truly arrived. They have only arrived because of significant dedication to the art of surfing. See, I was a poser for short time. Yes, I owned boards, both a skateboard and a surfboard. I wore the clothes and hung out on the beach. The issue was, I didn’t really have the passion or desire to become good enough to really enjoy and master surfing, and surely not when the temperature was below 80 degrees. I would not commit to checking the weather or getting out to size up different breaks, or see where the latest break was.
I have been in the fire service for a while now, and I realize there are way more posers wearing fire t-shirts and hauling gear around with them than there are posers in the world of surfing. My issue is this, posers in surfing will most likely not hurt anyone but themselves. Yes they may need assistance getting back in if they go out on a good day. But, a poser in the fire service is not only a danger to themselves, but to all those operating along side of them.