A Servant Leader – Those are the first words that I think about when someone asks me about David J. Soler. The next thought that comes to mind is that David is a man who is dedicated to God, his family, and the fire service.
I remember the first time I received a phone call from David inviting me onto his Firefighter Toolbox Podcast. He told me about his idea of interviewing some of the most well known authors and leaders in our industry and sharing their thoughts with the world. He was humble and passionate, which are two valuable qualities I look for in a person. After speaking with him for a while and hearing more about his vision, I thought about Napoleon Hill, who spent years interviewing the wealthiest people in America before writing one of my favorite books, Think and Grow Rich. Like Napoleon Hill, David is a sponge for knowledge—a student of our industry who is dedicated to personal growth.
Many people make the critical mistake of thinking they do not need to focus on self-education. David is not one of those people. He has spent the last few years of his life interviewing thought leaders in the fire service and applying their principles. He understands the power of association better than most.
Associating with the right people is a key to success in life, and this book was written by a man who has spent the last few years of his life shaping his philosophies by spending time with, and dissecting the thoughts of, the most respected leaders in the world’s most respected profession. Lucky for us he packaged his findings in this book for the benefit of the men and women of today’s fire service.
Firefighter Preplan is a transparent, easy-to-read book that doesn’t beat around the bush. The book is all substance and no fluff, and it was written to help you become a better version of yourself. This book is a great starting point for anyone who is serious about becoming a respected firefighter as well as a reminder of why we all do what we do–to serve others.
The Fire Service cannot continue to thrive as one of the most honorable professions in the world if the men and women who take the oath and answer the call do not understand the meaning of the word honorable.
Each of us has an obligation to earn the respect of our community. We all need to step up and do our part to continue the many wonderful traditions of our predecessors, as well as start new ones. This is not possible without character and integrity. It is also not possible without the right behavior and attitude.
This book will provide you with a strong foundation of timeless principles that those before us have demonstrated and now pass on to us to build upon.
There is one caveat to reading this book. It is similar to the same one that I share with every aspiring leader who picks up any great fire service tactical book, which is “you can’t throw the book at a fire and put it out.”
With this book, I would slightly revise that statement to, “You will not become a great firefighter or leader simply because you read this book.” The purpose of reading this book is to learn the principles and attitudes of those respected and great firefighters that have come before us that made them great and respected and then implement them into your career and life. Now it’s your turn to not only read and learn these principles, but to “Step Up” and implement them.
Any veteran firefighter would agree that within our industry, you will encounter unique challenges. This book is a great tool to help you enhance your knowledge, awareness, and understanding of some of those challenges you will inevitable stumble upon along your journey. More importantly, it will provide you with the tools you will need to overcome many of those challenges.
You must apply the information in this book, not sit on it. You must commit to becoming a better firefighter and leader. You must commit to the same thing David and I and so many other have done before us, which is to leave the fire service better than you found it. Firefighter Preplan is the starting point to help you do just that.
Deputy Chief Frank Viscuso
Author of Step Up and Lead and Step Up Your Teamwork.