Have you ever stepped to the edge of a cliff (or some- thing high in elevation) to look over? It’s surreal and scary, breathtaking and overwhelming, impressive and intimidating all at the same time. You feel alive
and still helpless, afraid to die, yet inspired to live. Magnificently, an
edge presents a conscience awakening where body and soul collide
in a carnal and cognitive expression of self-realization and self-preservation. It is an awesome phenomenon to behold! Whether it is a
literal location on a map or a metaphorical depiction in your mind,
an edge creates a powerful perspective, and once you experience a
moment on the edge, you are forever shaped by its significance.
ON THE EDGE
Edges have been described in many ways, but in their purest
form they signify a bold line of distinction, an instance of decision
between opposing interests. For the person who finds himself on
the edge, he is now confronting a diametric choice leading to alternative journeys with conflicting outcomes. In true edge fashion, if
the person decides to go one way, he is permanently inscribing his
mark in history for that specific purpose; and equally, if he moves
in the opposite direction, then he has now branded his very being
with the imprint of wherever that path would lead.
To remain on any edge for an extended period of time is impos-
sible; hence, if you can, then arguably it is not an edge! An edge
is never wide and always sharp. Realistically, there is little room to
maneuver on an edge. You are forced to pick a side. An “edge” is
certainly a defining period in every
person’s life and, in the fire service,
there is but one edge you need pay close, deliberate attention to.
It represents the difference between life and death, winning and
losing, surviving and surrendering.
“The Winner’s Edge” is a survival mindset, and without it you
hold very little chance of enduring a firefighter’s worst nightmare!
Imagine yourself trapped in a flaming building. Your vision is
diminished, your hearing obstructed, and your low-air alarm
screaming! You are directionless, isolated, and absent a hoseline;
the heat is noticeable, becoming unbearable. What thoughts cross
your mind? Are you scared of injury? Are you terrified of dying?
(Each is normal, but sadly both could be disabling.) Or, are you
determined—determined not to lose and, instead, determined to
WHAT DOES “THE WINNER’S EDGE” LOOK LIKE?
Surviving a life-and-death disaster requires blatant recognition of
the “edge” you are standing on. It must be viewed as perilous and
defined as such. The fact of the matter is this: “the need” to survive
is instinctual; “the will” to survive is attitude; “the act” of surviving is by the grace of God! Two of these elements are completely
outside of the realm of anything anyone can control. However,
the will to survive is directly influenced by you and you alone. It
is something you can absolutely affect, and it should be taught in
every Firefighter 101 class as a basic skill must!
What it takes to “win”
when it matters most
BY JASON GALLIMORE
The Winner’s Edge:
An edge presents a conscience awakening where body and soul collide in
a carnal and cognitive expression of
self-realization and self-preservation.
(Photos by Pixabay.)