Monday, February 11, 2008

Definition of a Hero...

Copied with permission from a MySpace friend who is a fire figher and EMT in the US. I think it is beautifully written and gives you something to think about:

I wish you could know what it is like to search a burning bedroom for trapped children at three am, flames rolling above your head, your palms and knees burning as you crawl, the floor sagging under your weight as the kitchen below you burns.

I wish you could comprehend a wifes horror at six in the morning as I check her husband of forty years for a pulse and find none. I start CPR anyway, hoping to bring him back, knowing intuitively it is too late, but wanting his wife and family to know everything possible was done to try to save his life.

I wish you knew 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, the eeriness of being able to see absolutely nothing in dense smoke, sensations that I've become too familiar with.

I wish you could read my mind as I respond to a building fire: Is this a false alarm or a working fire? How is the building constructed? What hazards await me? Is anyone trapped? Or to a 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 be in the emergency room as the doctor pronounces dead the beautiful five-year oldgirl that Ive been trying to save during 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, squad or my personal vehicle, the driver with his foot pressing down hard on the pedal, my arm tugging again and again at the air horn chain, as you fail to yield the right-of-way at an intersection or in traffic. When you need us, however, your first comment upon our arrival will be, "it took you forever to get here!"

I wish you could know my thoughts as I extricate a girl of teenage years from the remains of her automobile. What if this was my daughter, sister, girlfriend, or a friend? What is her parents reaction going to be when they open the door to find a police officer with hat in hand?

I wish you could know how it feels to walk in the back door and greet my parents and family, not having the heart to tell them that I nearly did not come back from the last call.

I wish you could know how it feels dispatching officers, firefighters and EMTs out, and when we call for them our heart drops because no one answers back. Or to hear a bone chilling 911 call of a child or wife needing assistance.

I wish you could feel the hurt as people verbally, and sometimes physically abuse us or belittle what we do, or as the 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 seen.

I wish you could know the brotherhood and self-satisfaction of helping save a life or preserving someones property, or being able to be there in time of crisis, or creating order from total chaos.

I wish you could understand what it feels like to have a little boy tugging at your arm and asking, Is Mommy okay? Not even being able to look in his eyes without tears from your own and not knowing what to say. Or to have to hold back a long time friend who watches his buddy having CPR done on him as they take him away in the Medic unit. You know all along he did not have his seat belt on. A sensation that I have become too familiar with.

Unless you have lived with this kind of life, you will never truly understand or appreciate who I am, who we are, or what our job really means to us. I wish you could though.

(Author Unknown)


Peter said...

Hi! This was truly an inspiring post and I must say, that I totally agree with the authors sentiments.

If only some people could swap a day in the life of one of these fine individuals, then perhaps there'd be less misery and pain.

Take Care!

Anonymous said...

DOn't break your arm patting yourself on the back. You're a fireman. NOt trying to belittle your job or anything. We need firemen. Firemen are great to have. But you're so busy patting yourself on the back because of what you do for a living that I wonder if your community suffers because of it. Or are you one of those arrogant people who are constantly looking for thanks from citizens? Get over yourself.
Oh, and my job is pretty tough too. I'm in the US military. So yes, I've seen a thing or two as well. But I damn sure don't walk around with a sense of entitlement.
Again, get over yourself.

Jennifer said...

Ha ha – comments like these always crack me up. This person apparently felt like they needed to put me in my place or teach me something. Due to my “arrogance” and how I need to “get over myself.” Too funny! Although this “military person’s” observation skills worry me a little!!! I’d like to know how they managed to come to the conclusion that I am a FIREMAN? Considering this is a blog about NURSING??

Well if it made this persons day good for them. They got to let a little frustration out, and got to announce to a few more people that they are in the military. :) Gotta love trolls! They keep us entertained! Thanks for the laugh Anonymous military person in Virginia!

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