Sitting at my desk gazing out the window as the clouds gently sweep across the brilliant blue sky, I ponder a deep thought I had the night before which was so brilliant it defined me and the moment so beautifully and perfectly with only a half dozen words or so. I scratch my head and continue to gaze searching and grabbing for a thought that has now completely left my memory for ever, and wonder could it really of been that good If I have already forgotten it? All this time I sit and ponder I’m realizing how many seconds have gone by, although it feels like perhaps hours in reality its only a few seconds or maybe a minute. My mind quickly shifts to a statistic I read earlier, “Every 2 hours someone dies in a fire” “Every 15 seconds a fire department responds to a fire”. Now I start to think harder, so you’re telling me since I have been at work today 4 people have already died, and my brothers have responded to 1,920 fire calls so far today!
Now the more important question, more important than my random deep thought that I can’t even remember today. What the hell are we doing wrong? With breakthroughs in technology for better fire fighting and advances in flame retardant consumer goods and more advanced early detection. Why? Why are we still losing so many people and why are we having so many fires period? Is it the public’s it won’t happen to me mentality? Or are we failing with outdated fire prevention techniques? Do we need to shake things up a little and get people’s attention a little more? I truly believe fire prevention month is a great thing and the kids get a lot out of it, but how can we get parents and older kids into it. Little kids are fascinated with the fire service, in their gleaming little eyes you feel like superman walking into their school giving advice. Stop drop and Roll don’t forget to cover… Ask mom and Dad to check those smoke detectors… Know two ways out.. NEVER go back in.. Ya they get it they got it but do Mom and Dad? Is all the preaching falling on deaf ears when they get home? Its human nature for a lot of us to over look certain hazards or to not even give a thought to a problem until it’s too late. This Job has changed all of us, for example when I stay in a hotel I count doors to exit’s without even thinking about it, or scope out emergency exits when im in a box store just in case things go to hell when im shopping. We pick up little things over the years that make us more observant in life it’s our job to fix things before they go bad. Has the general public actually gotten into a way of thinking that well if something goes wrong someone will help me….
I have brainstormed and thought of thousands of random ideas to make things better, and ideas that are in practice now that I disagree with. However I would prefer to leave this open at the end of the last paragraph to get your minds racing and your creative blood flowing. It’s our job to keep the public safe and the best way is fixing the tragedy before it happens. So I ask you… What are you going to do about it?
Enjoyed reading your thoughts Shawn and I share your frustration. Many of today's young firefighters aren't interested in Fire Prevention. I'm beginning to believe that many new recruits believe Fire Prevention is a threat to their potential as a heroic savior in their quest of making themselves someone they are not. A thought ran through my mind the other day as I read of an LODD in a tanker roll over...What if Fire aapparatus were not equpped with flashing lights and sirens, what if they were all painted a tan color and there was no signage or lettering on them. What if all firefighters were required to study and have a degree in ancient world firefighting history as well as a thorough understanding of firefighting techniques and prevention laws worldwide ? Finally, what are the outdated fire prevention techniques that you speak of ?
Jon D Marsh