Tuesday, July 21, 2009

The Web of Firefighters

Firefighters...We are a WEB woven through the city, solid, strong, always, always answering every single call, no matter how critical or how benign. Our web creates an intricate matrix of strong arms ready, willing and able. What does that LOOK LIKE?:

Fire Stations, Large Shiny Fire apparatus, Lights and Sirens, Trauma Bag, Airway Bag, Drug Box, Heart Monitor, Jaws of Life, all of which are tools to be used when a world has gone awry in a large or small way. However, all of this equipment is meaningless without the most important connector of this web...PEOPLE. Without the people the web disintegrates into broken down abandoned buildings, rusting, eroded fire equipment, broken plastic and silence. Not just the silence of sirens, but the silence of voices. Voices that encourage, calm, enquire, instruct and yes direct all for one purpose...to assist when things have gone awry, whether it be a broken or failing body or a broken, burning home or family business.

The voices of Firefighters are followed by action. This action is full of purpose, good intentions and phenomenal skill. It is action that works towards accomplishing that which some would find overwhelming, frightening or unbearable...such as entering a dark, hot burning building searching for the elderly father...or wrapping arms around the hanging suicide patient in order to release the tension of the rope so that it can be cut and then gently lying that patient on the floor to see if he is savable... or pulling a drowned child from a swimming pool and skillfully moving foreward in every way as if that child can be save...not even thinking otherwise.

The action, no matter how intense or how benign, is then followed by cleaning up, putting tools back in order, restocking equipment, getting everything in place, including the human psyche, so that the WEB is ready and in tack for the next call of service.

What would happen if this POWERFUL WEB did not exist? What would that look like, sound like, feel like? How would its nonexistence impact the psyche of our communities? I wonder...

1 comment:

  1. I don't wonder, April...things would fall apart very quickly. How many calls do the firehouses in California alone get in a single day? Who else would be there to answer the calls? No one.

    I have always had the utmost respect for firefighters and am shocked to hear that there are others who feel differently.

    Thank you, April Firefighter, for doing the work that few, really, have what it takes to do..to help out citizens in distress.