April 2023 Leadership Message From the ISFSI President: Seth Barker


Most of us choose the communities we live in. We choose them based on several factors. Often our job has the greatest influence that always seems to be whispering in our ear. However, if we are truly honest with ourselves, we can step back and look at what makes our community great. Is it safe? Does it have good schools? Are there good recreational opportunities? Is the town a desirable place to raise our children? We look at the positive and negative factors of our community to influence our choice where we work, live, and play. I hope we surround ourselves with like-minded individuals that share our values and beliefs to make our community stronger. It’s ok to have different views or ways at looking at things. As long as we have the same “mission” in mind. Making the community better. Making the place we belong a more attractive place to be. If we take a moment and forget the profession that most of us belong to. Very few people move to a community based on that town’s fire department. If we remember that factor as we are navigating the community that we serve them better. Everything in our town is equally important to our customers. So, when it is time to show support for each other, we need to show up!

Showing up means supporting our community in all aspects. It’s very easy to get “burned out” working for the community and trying to find the balance after pulling a tough shift or call. I often hear that each of us must find that “work-life balance”. I would argue that you must find the balance in work, and you have to find the balance in life. One does not balance the other, they both have to be IN balance. Our community needs help to find that balance as well. It does not revolve around 911. It takes everyone’s synergistic effort to make it a desirable place to work and live. So, show up and help out. We can contribute on a small or large scale. We participate as a Fire Department or a community member. It all helps.

Find that balance in your Fire Department. Show up and help out. Give back to the organization that is giving to you. Check in on each other. Make sure your Fire Community is doing OK. Offer to help with training, organizing, fixing, and planning the next event. Help move the needle into the middle. I recently had one of my team members come into my office and say to me that I was too busy to be worrying about a training in the county and the little details were being missed. He offered to take a tremendous amount of work off my plate so I could concentrate on what mattered most – finding the balance.

We are quickly approaching our favorite time of year when most of us get to reconnect in Indianapolis at the Fire Department International Conference. We hope to see most of you who are attending at the Tuesday night social for ISFSI. Please RSVP prior to the conference. We are excited to see old friends and meet new ones. It’s a busy week that can be overwhelming. Take the time to meet new members, offer advice and mentorship, and show our membership why we are the best organization in the fire service.


Stay Healthy and Safe.

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