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  • A Fireman's Wish
    Updated On: Aug 22, 2005



    A Fireman’s Wish…




    I Wish You Could






    I wish you could see


      The sadness of a business man as his livelihood goes up in flames or that




    family returning home, only to find their house and belongings damaged or destroyed.






    I wish you could see




    What it is to search a burning bedroom for trapped children, flames rolling




    above your head, your palms and knees burning as you crawl, the floor sagging under you weight as the kitchen beneath you burns.




    I wish you could see




    A wife’s horror at 3 A.M. as I checked her husband of forty years for a pulse




    And find none.  I start CPR anyway, hoping against the odds to bring him back, knowing intuitively it is too late. But wanting his wife and family to




    know that everything possible was done




    I wish you could see




    The unique smell of burning insulation, the taste of soot-filled mucus,




    the feeling of intense heat through your turnout gear. The sound of flames crackling, and the eeriness of being able to see absolutely nothing in




    dense smoke—sensations that I have become too familiar with.






    I wish you could see




    How it feels to go to work in the morning after having spent most of the




    night, hot and soaking wet at a multiple alarm fire.






    I wish you could read




    My mind as I respond to a building fire, ‘is this a false alarm or a working,




    breathing fire? How is the building constructed? What hazards await me?




    Is anyone trapped or are they all out? Or to an EMS call, ‘what is wrong




    with the patient? Is it minor or life-threatening? Is the caller really




     in distress or is he waiting for us with a 2x4 or a gun?’




    I wish you could see




    in the emergency room as the doctor pronounces dead the beautiful little




     five-year old girl that I have been trying to save for the past twenty-five minutes,




    who will never go on her first date or say the words,




     “I love you Mommy,” again.




    I wish you could know




    the frustration I feel in the cab of the engine, the driver with his foot




    pressing down hard on the peddle, my arm tugging again and again at the




    air horn chain, as you fail to yield the right-of-way at the intersection or




    in traffic.  When you need us, however, your first comment upon or arrival  


    will be, “It took you forever to get here!”




    I wish you could read




    my thoughts as I help extricate a girl of teenage years from a mangled




    remains of her automobile, ‘What if this were my sister, my girlfriend




    or friend?  What were her parent’s reactions going to be as they open




     the door to find a police officer.






    I wish you could know




    how it feel to walk in the back door and great my parents and family,




     not having the heart to tell them that I nearly did not come home from  the last call






    I wish you could feel




    my hurt as people verbally ,and sometimes physically




    abuse us or belittle what we do, or as they express their attitudes of,




    It will never happen to me.




    I wish you could realize




    the physical, emotional, and mental drain of missed meals, lost sleep and




    forgone social activities  ,in addition to all the tragedy my eyes have viewed.    


    I wish you could know




    the brotherhood and self-satisfaction of helping save a life or preserving someone’s property, of being there in times of crisis, or creating order from total CHAOS.




    I wish you could understand




    what it feels like to have a little boy tugging on your arm and asking,




    “Is my Mommy O.K.?” Not even being able to look in his eyes without




     tears falling from your own and not knowing what to say.  Or to have to hold back a long-time friend who watches his buddy having rescue breathing done on him as they take him away in the ambulance.




      You knowing all along he did not have his seat belt on.  Sensations that I have become too familiar with.






    Unless you have lived




    this kind of life, you will never truly understand or appreciate who I am, what we are, or what our job really means to us.






    I wish you could    


    -unknown author- 























































































































































































































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