Because of my job, I have to go to a lot of fires. My company rents security fencing. Fires require it to secure buildings to keep the copper wire thieves and other unwanteds out. I've been to a lot lately. Two this week alone. I'm thinking that if I go to anymore the Coquitlam Fire Department is going to think I'm starting them!! But that has got me thinking about firemen. I wanted to be one when I was a kid. My dad was one. A volunteer. I remember when our school burnt down...the fire started around 3:30PM and dad, having been at work all day didn't get there until around supper time. When he got home that night around midnight he let me hold his jacket which weighed about 70 pounds because it was soaking wet...and it reeked of smoke. That was a major fire. Reinforcements had to be called in from neighbouring communities to help put it out. I never realized just how dangerous it was for my dad to be a fireman until that fire. Or how proud of him I was. Now my brother, who is also my hero (and the one to report the school fire), is a volunteer with the same brigade our dad was part of. I am equally scared and proud of him as I was with Dad.
This week, while at a fire, I watched as a crew came out of the burning building...from a temperature hotter than we could even imagine...into 43 degree heat...these guys were exhausted, hot, sweaty and gasping for breath, which was almost impossible to get in the stifling heat Mother Nature laid on us this week...yet they quickly doused their heads with water, had a drink from a Slurpee stored in a cooler, put on a new air tank and went back inside to fight the flaming hell.
I couldn't do it. But I'm extremely thankful for those that can...and do. Next time you see a fireman, thank him. Thank him for the countless hours of training he has endured...for the danger he puts his life in everytime that alarm goes off...for the security he gives by being a fireman. They don't get paid enough to do what they do. I know, I've witnessed it first hand.