Shared from Fireman’s Association State of Pennsylvania Facebook page.
Picture this :
You’re sound asleep, about to wake up to your 7:00 am alarm. Then your tones go off, for a structure fire. You get yourself out of bed, get dressed, put your contacts in/ get your glasses. You rush to get your keys and put your shoes on. You then, get in your car/truck and drive who knows how long to the fire station, because remember( firefighters aren’t exempt to speed limits, stop lights, etc. in their personal vehicles ) once you arrive on station, you get out and rush inside. Those shoes you put on? Take them off and put your boots, pants, nomex hood and coat on. Grab your helmet & mask from your locker and get in the truck(average gear weighs about 50 lbs) while everyone else is doing the same. Then you roll out, lights and sirens blazing, driving to the scene. You arrive on scene, after battling traffic because people won’t pull over for you, to find smoke and fire showing from A&B side. You and your crew gather an attack plan, and execute your plan, all while hooking up to the nearest fire hydrant for water supply, getting the proper tools, getting ladders set up, dealing with bystanders, assuring everyone is out of the residence, and putting water on the fire. Your officer makes a decision about whether or not to make entry to the residence, keeping everyone’s safety in Mind. You do your absolute best to extinguish the blaze, (which is now cooking about 600-800 degrees in some areas, and way hotter in others). You’re their for hours on end, tired because you haven’t eaten since last night, and won’t be eating anytime soon. Imagine doing your best, working the hardest you could, putting your LIFE on the line, for someone you’ve never even met. You didn’t get to say bye to your kids or spouse this morning, but you might not make it home to see them? Imagine doing all of this, and at the end of the day, doing it for $0. Doing it for the cause, because if someone didn’t, there’d be no fire protection at all. Imagine doing this because you care about the people in your community, and you care about their safety. Can you picture it? If you can, then you have just stepped in to the boots of a VOLUNTEER firefighter. Because at the end of the day, what if volunteers didn’t volunteer? So before you slander your local fire department for “taking too long” or “not putting it out fast enough” remember what I’ve just stated. Remember that they are all people, just like you. Who have families, and jobs. Remember that they do it for free.