we do it
those of us who have "walked down this road" truly
understand. To the rest of you, please continue to provide support to
those who serve you 24 -7.
not for glory or fame, but because we were given a gift and were crazy
enough to answer the call.
wish you could know what it is like to search a burning bedroom for
trapped children at 3 AM, flames rolling above your head, your palms
and knees burning as you crawl, the floor sagging under your weight
as the kitchen below you burns.
I wish you could comprehend a wife's horror at 6 in the morning as I
check her husband of 40 years for a pulse and find none. I start CPR
anyway, hoping to bring him back, knowing intuitively it is too
late. But wanting his wife and family to know everything possible
was done to try to save his life.
I wish you knew the unique smell of burning insulation, the taste of
soot-filled mucus, the feeling of intense heat through your turnout
gear, the sound of flames crackling, the eeriness of being able to
see absolutely nothing in dense smoke-sensations that I've
become too familiar with.
I wish you could read my mind as I respond to a building fire
"Is this a false alarm or a working fire? How is the building
constructed? What hazards await me? Is anyone trapped?" Or to
call, "What is wrong with the patient? Is it minor or
life-threatening? Is the caller really in distress or is he waiting
for us with a 2x4 or a gun?"
I wish you could be in the emergency room as a doctor pronounces
dead the beautiful five-year old girl that I have been trying to
save during the past 25 minutes, who will never go on her first date
or say the words, "I love you Mommy" again.
I wish you could know the frustration I feel in the cab of the
engine, squad, or my personal vehicle, the driver with his foot
pressing down hard on the pedal, my arm tugging again and again at
the air horn chain, as you fail to yield the right-of-way at an
intersection or in traffic. When you need us however, your first
comment upon our arrival will be, "It took you forever to get
I wish you could know my thoughts as I help extricate a girl of
teenage years from the remains of her automobile. "What if this
was my daughter, sister, my girlfriend or a friend? What was her parent's
reaction going to be when they opened the door to find a police
officer with hat in hand?"
I wish you could know how it feels to walk in the back door and
greet my parents and family, not having the heart to tell them that
I nearly did not come back from the last call.
I wish you could know how it feels dispatching officers,
firefighters and EMT's out and when we call for them and our heart
drops because no one answers back or to here a bone chilling 911
call of a child or wife needing assistance.
I wish you could feel the hurt as people verbally, and sometimes
physically, abuse us or belittle what I do, or as they express their
attitudes of "It will never happen to me."
I wish you could realize the physical, emotional and mental drain or
missed meals, lost sleep and forgone social activities, in addition
to all the tragedy my eyes have seen.
I wish you could know the brotherhood and self-satisfaction of
helping save a life or preserving someone's property, or being able
to be there in time of crisis, or creating order from total chaos.
wish you could understand what it feels like to have a little boy
tugging at your arm and asking, "Is Mommy okay?" Not even
being able to look in his eyes without tears from your own and not
knowing what to say. Or to have to hold back a long time friend who
watches his buddy having CPR done on him as they take him away in
the Medic Unit. You know all along he did not have his seat belt on.
A sensation that I have become too familiar with.
Unless you have lived with this kind of life, you will never truly
understand or appreciate who I am, we are, or what our job really
means to us...
I wish you could though.
AND SUPPORT THE LOCAL
WORKERS, 911 DISPATCHERS, FIREFIGHTERS, and LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS
IN YOUR AREA.
ONE DAY THEY MIGHT BE SAVING YOUR PROPERTY OR YOUR OWN LIFE. WHEN
YOU SEE THEM COMING WITH LIGHTS FLASHING, MOVE OUT OF THE WAY
QUICKLY, THEN PRAY FOR THEM!