We always to start a recruit fire academy every January. Like a New Year’s Resolution, it’s traditional.

Before recruits learn basic firefighting skills, the first thing they learn and develop are fire academy “Integrity Agreements.”

Actually our Fire Academy Integrity Agreements are like “New Year’s Resolutions.” We develop and own these agreements while holding ourselves accountable for success. If you don’t live up to the agreements, you have no one to blame but yourself. You own them, custom made by and for you!

The first one is to have respect. Respect for yourself first, and then respect for others. If you don’t respect yourself, you certainly won’t respect others.


Have a positive attitude. If your attitude is negative, it’s certain you won’t not succeed. Support and help each other. Firefighting is a team effort and so is life. No one can do it alone, no one!

Don’t judge. There’s an old saying “when you spot it, you got it.” What you dislike in others is likely something that resides within yourself that you don’t like. Give grace and learn a little patience for both yourself and others.

Don’t gossip. If you have an issue with someone or something, the only one that can do something about it is yourself and the other person. Go to that person and discuss it with them not others.

If you make a mess, clean it up! If you spilled milk, what do you do? You clean it up or it gets harder to clean up the longer you wait. The same goes when you make a mess with another person. Clean it up and say I’m sorry. Don’t wait too long you’ll create permanent damage. Being prideful makes even the best looking appear ugly.

These are a few examples of Integrity Agreements that work for the Recruit Firefighters. Your probably not much different.

What are some Integrity Agreements or Resolutions you can make this year?

Happy New Year,

Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna