And speaking of Ralph Waldo Emerson,
"Every man is entitled to be valued by his best moments."
Entitlement and reality are far different entities. While I'm in a scholarly mood, I figured I would mention William Shakespeare addressing reality in a speech from Julius Caesar;
"The evil that men do lives long after them, the good is oft interred with their bones."
So it is in the fire/EMS business. We are only as good as our last act. Today's hero is tomorrows asshole, tomorrows asshole will still be an asshole even if the day after tomorrow he becomes a hero, only a little less of an asshole.
It takes time to erase a major screw-up. People remember the bad, and quickly forget the good. For some strange reason we love nothing more than to focus on people's shortcomings. Perhaps we feel better about ourselves when others are exposed for being human, and having human frailties.
Just keep in mind, everybody gets a turn, and ours is coming. It's just the way it is. So relish those moments when everything goes as planned, and savor the fleeting seconds when you can bask in your own greatness. And keep striving to do great things, and maybe, just maybe you will be valued by your best moments, and the evil, or more likely just plain dumb things we do will be interred with our bones.