Saturday, April 29, 2017
I was never a firefighter, but I was a paramedic for quite some time, and I worked side by side with several companies, and I can say that the profession takes selflessness of a kind that most of us will never understand!
I have gone into buildings after they were cleared for personnel other than fighters, but to have been in the coats, and go into the flames? No, I was never trained for that position, and to be honest, I don’t know if I would have wanted to be responsible for that lifesaving part of the scenario. Death, pain, fear of a kind most are unaware exists, going in when al of your instincts are screaming at you, “what the hell are you doing!?” but going in anyhow!
Yes, firefighters are true specialties of the human animal, a breed far apart from whatever else you may have been told about. I learned quickly that ego has no place in the mind of a first-responder, it gets people killed quickly, and I only met officers who were in the administrative areas who seemed to suffer from the disease of ego-mania, they no longer went to the streets or to the scenes, and they definitely did not go into the heat! They were fighting for positions that the smoke-eaters weren’t thinking about as they dragged the hoses and the ladders and choked on the smoke and thought about making sure that everyone ELSE, would get out alive!
I don’t like to loosely throw around the word “hero”, but these guys are certainly freely open to the use of the term, and I give it up to these people. Even if he or she is a reprehensible idiot outside of the work environment, to still put their asses on the line and go in, is a remarkably unselfish thing to do! They can work on their personality problems on their own time.
Fires are like a living evil, never doing what is expected for them to do, popping up in places where they just don’t seem to belong, and indiscriminately destroying life, property, and futures in their wakes. You have to love the simple nature of a fire, it is one-minded, to create heat, and destruction unless it can be productively contained for a purposeful use. But even then, it must be respected and treated as a possible threat. And firefighters know this beast better than most!
Flames, unbearably oppressive heat, the uncertainty of building integrity, screaming and frightened people who will attack out of that fright, and yet, these individuals still go IN! if this does not impress you to say “Thank You” to a firefighter, I have to assume that you are emotionally disconnected from reality, or just a plain hateful and envious person who is in need of some serious talking to!
Remember their families as well. These are certainly people who are living under daily stresses that no one else can understand. The absence of their firefighter loved ones can become permanent in an instant of time, destroying the harmony and the safety of what was assumed to be a future. Living under these pressures is how PTSIs are formed. I cannot imagine seeing my loved one go out daily to a job where it is the KNOWN factor that his or her life will in fact, be jeopardized at some point, and purposefully so! Even the spouses and partners of police officers don’t live this way. The possibilities are not as entrenched as the probabilities of the firefighter’s families and partners deal with, even though they too, deal with stressors.
SALUTE! To all firefighters, because you go ALL IN, but some, NEVER come out!
SALUTE to their families also, because they walk every step of the way, with their fears and their concerns and their absolute uncertainties, they deserve to be supported by community members and not forgotten.
This is not a job you apply for because you need a paycheck. Think of all of the volunteer firemen out there who go in, and don’t get paid. Why do this? Why not just leave it to someone else.
Salute every person you know who does this job, just do it! You need them, and it’s just a nice thing to do!
All inner strength and peace, to you.