Living Out Loud

Feel the presence of an angel you may not see


Police, EMS, firemen and the American soldier are people that I believe are called to public safety service. They have that special something in their blood that wants to protect and serve others. Think about that for a moment, to protect and serve everyone, mostly complete strangers. Everyone matters to them, just like the motto the Marines use “No man is left behind.” These brave men and women put their lives at risk every single day and sometimes give that great gift to us because of someone’s stupid mistake.

Firemen are a different breed for many small communities. Many small towns rely on volunteer firemen. They are different because in their normal day-to-day life, they do any job from sales to mechanic work. These everyday jobs are what they do to pay their bills just like you and I, but they can be called out at any moment in the day or night.

I was told by volunteer fireman that “I volunteer because your life depends on it, your neighbor’s life and anyone in my town’s life depends on me and how fast I can respond.” Fire fighters also go on emergency calls such as car accidents, heart attacks and sometimes other medical problems along with water rescues, hazardous materials incidents.

In the book, "The Heart Behind the Hero" a fireman is describes his work by saying "I provide a faceless, nameless service to a community that rarely knows how much they need me. If I am called from a sound sleep to sacrifice my life, attempting to save the life or property of someone I do not know ... I will do so without regret." Most volunteer fire departments need people who can devote a minimum amount of time to service, and the flexibility to make that work along with the time to devote to the necessary training.

Firefighting is one of the most physically demanding task there is. Firefighters must enter burning buildings, search, rescue and carry out people and have also been known to rescue pets all while risking their lifes. They try to find the source of the fire and determine both the safest and fastest ways to extinguish the fire. While doing all this, firefighters are known to carry anywhere from 40 to 100 lbs of equipment such as axes, hoses and extinguishers. Fire departments must respond to emergencies 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Fire departments do not shut down for holidays. Their bravery is running in when everyone else is running out, just like the military, the police, the paramedics who also do not shut down ever.

So thank you to all the nameless faces who look over our towns, our families and protect our property during all the hours of the night and day. In the King James Bible in the book of John, chapter 15, verse 13 says “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” Now add strangers to that sentence and remember to thank your local fire department today.