In Harm’s Way
“Help!” These cries for assistance are heard throughout all villages, towns, cities, and rural America. Like the Minutemen during the Revolutionary War, they will leave their jobs, homes, chores, and even families at a moment’s notice and travel to the call for help. They risk their lives, health, and financial future to keep all of us safe. They are the men and women who are our firefighters, both volunteer and paid.
This harkens me back to the day of September 11, 2001. Etched in my memory is the clip of firefighters climbing up the stairs towards the top of the World Trade Center’s North Tower, and civilians walking past them down the stairs. The firefighters knew that they were walking into harm’s way, and knew the danger and the possibility that they would never make it out. Many of them never did.
Like our law enforcement officers, the firefighters care about all of us. To hone their skills, they attend countless classes, receiving new instructions and techniques on how to be more effective and safe (not only for themselves, but others as well). Along with their classes, a huge amount of time is spent on drills and training. This practice is designed to effectively decrease response time, because that dramatically impacts loss of life, property, and injury.
Not only do they train, but they also instruct. For example, “The Smoke House” is brought to various schools in the area. The firefighters spend time explaining about The Smoke House and how to respond if there is a fire. They also provide assistance to schools during a fire evacuation or other emergency.
So, what can we do as citizens to show our appreciation? Here are a few suggestions.
God bless and thank you to all of our firefighters for making a meaningful difference in so many lives. No greater is the gift than to place one’s life in harm’s way to save others. Special thanks to Ray Hughes for his advice.