Yesterday, I had the biggest "oppsie" moment of my fire service career. Long story short, we just got back from an alarm call (turned out to just be the alarm panel jacking up), and myself and my officer were heading back to the fire station. Well, after he punched in the code to the gate and starting walking to the station, I turned the vehicle, straightened out the steering wheel to "go straight", was looking in my mirrors, but then looked up for about 4 seconds to look at my officer to see if he wanted me to pick him up or if I was parking, then WHAM! I smacked the side of the gate with our ARFF Truck TI-1500. Turns out, I forgot that the steering wheel in that truck isn't proportioned right like the other trucks, so when you straighten the steering wheel how it should be, it really veers to the left instead of staying straight.
In all honesty, I was pretty scared. Afraid I might get fired, fined, or I don't know what. Thankfully though, the airport we protect was actually really chill about the whole situation (so far they have been at least), and my chief talked to pretty much everyone appointed over me, and no one wants me to be terminated (fired). Chief said he'll have to look in the handbook to see what kind of punishment I'll be given, but it will probably only be a write up and letter of reprimand. Which will only stick with my career for 6-12 months. Then whatever the airport wants me to do (maybe some remedial driving training).
I'm not making this post for ya'll to feel sorry for me or anything, I'm just trying to inspire a lot of you (especially new and younger guys/gals) to learn from your mistakes. It's better yet not to even make one, but we all make mistakes. Take what you learn from a certain mistake, and improve on yourself to not do it again. I know for damn sure even if the airport doesn't make me do remedial driving training, I'm going to take our other ARFF truck and do my own. Set up some cones and make sure I can clear some really tight spaces. Thanks for your guys' time, and have a great day!