I’ve been sitting here this evening reading blogs, tweets, and posts from a few firefighters/paramedics and thinking about my past experiences with others that I have known over the years. One thing that comes to my mind is that they (firefighters and paramedics) are a special breed of people. But if you tell them that they will most likely deny it, saying they aren’t special at all – Just doing their job. But how else can you describe a person who will risk their life without thought (OK, that’s not completely true – they are trained and make good use of safety gear) to save a life in danger or to try to save a person’s home? But at the same time they are just normal everyday people just like you and me (they even put there uniforms on the same way we put our pants on – one leg at a time). OK maybe 2 if they are jumping into their turn-out gear (or that’s how it appeared to me the first time I saw a firefighter jumping into his turn out gear). They love, laugh, anger, cry, hurt just like the rest of us.
One of my favorite sayings (though I don’t know where it comes from): A Hero is an every day person doing what needs to be done – in Extraordinary circumstances (sounds like a firefighter/paramedic to me).
A Firefighter’s/Paramedic’s humor can, at times, be quite interesting and can cause massive headshaking. Case in point – I remember one time in particular when a paramedic thought it would be hilarious to blow the airhorn at me when I was right in front of the rig (mind you he had previously waved me to cross in front of him). Another case in point: Watching a “big daddy” ladder truck blast his airhorn to stop unstopping traffic when leaving station for a call. Get around a bunch of firefighters & paramedics when they aren’t on a call and the jokes can get a little on the thick side (And I’m sure they were keeping it clean for my benefit). But then they have to have some way of relieving that “adrenalin rush” laced stress they deal with day in and day out. And the thing about a “routine” call is – There Aint No Such Thing!
Firefighters/Paramedics also have a heart of gold bigger than… well…. The State of Texas. Even off duty they are quick to come to the aid of someone in need. For them it isn’t a question of being on duty or off duty it is a question of what needs to be done. When a firefighter becomes a firefighter he/she is a firefighter 24/7 day in day out. It isn’t a job, it’s a way of life (or at least that’s the impression I’ve always gotten). They will also gladly give their time to help out for a charity or to make the last days of a dying child special.
If I had long enough arms I’d hug every firefighter & paramedic out there and say THANKS!!!!