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Letter to the Editor: A Fireman’s Fire Chief
"I firmly believe that any man's finest hour, the greatest fulfillment of all that he holds dear, is that moment when he has worked his heart out in a good cause and lies exhausted on the field of battle - victorious." - Vince Lombardi Prior to serving under Chief Lanier Swafford, I had never looked to Coach Lombardi for motivation, until I stepped in to Chief's office and saw Lombardi's quotes lining the walls, alongside Chief's countless degrees, awards, thank-you letters and certifications. Chief Swafford literally changed my life. He made me believe in myself...He demanded it, and directly ordered that I believe in myself. He led my brothers and me from the front, and was the human embodiment of true servant leadership. This came natural to Chief, as he was a fireman's fire chief. This is something many fire officers and fire chiefs tell people about themselves. It is something that many instructors try to teach, and many leaders can't wrap their minds around. In my humble opinion, if you have to brag on yourself and tell people how you lead, you may be trying to make up for some short comings. Chief Swafford never told us how to lead, he showed us.