Many times, we see fire trucks rolling down the road with lights flashing and sirens blaring, you can see the firemen in the back getting ready. Do you ever think about what you’re really watching? It’s a lot more than just a fire truck driving fast, making a lot of noise! It’s an everyday person that either left their family or left their job, someone that may have been off work and dropped what they were doing because someone is having the worst day of their life.
Have you ever thought about the fact that one of those firemen may never make it back home again? Have you ever thought that one of those firemen may be pulling your relative out of a mangled vehicle? Have you ever though that fire truck may be on the way to a baby that is not breathing? Have you ever seen the fire truck going down the road and wonder what is going thru their minds at that moment?
Many times, your firemen are seen in town either out eating with their family, or at the store shopping with their family, you see your fireman smiling, joking, laughing and having a good time, looking to be one of the happiest people around.
What you see is their disguise,
Volunteer Firemen must go home and face their families after all calls, they must go face their family knowing they almost didn’t come home from that last call. They come home to their family after a child just passed away in their arms. Most volunteers have the same training and go to the same types of calls as full-time firemen. Firemen are Firemen! The big problem is that our volunteers clam up, they hold their emotions and feelings in. When they go home to their families they will not talk about what they just saw or what they just went thru because they do not want their family to worry or to preach to them to stop volunteering because their family does not want them in danger or to hurt.
Depression sets in but the smiles stay strong. They are still volunteering and still risking it all for the citizens and to make a difference. They have “good” calls and then some more “bad” calls pushing them further in depression, further in disguise.
These firemen are still working their full-time jobs, they may be going thru a divorce, they may have other personal problems, they may have just lost a loved one themselves.
Who is there for your firemen?
Volunteer firemen leave the station and go home, they don’t talk about their problems. What they see or go thru on a fire scene is only seen and experienced by firemen. Firemen are close, they know each other’s problems, their past and what they are going thru personally as well as the incidents they have been on. Firemen needs to be there for firemen! One firemen may have a goal of helping another however they are helping themselves as well. Be there for your firemen, pay attention to them. Are they wandering away from everyone at the station? Are they being distant? Being a friend and watching for these things will save lives in more ways than one. If you help stop a divorce you have brought back happiness in one’s life.
We are all human and we all have feelings, we are in the strongest family in the world, always be there for each other. You will know when it’s time to turn it over to a professional, and even then, give them a ride, be in the waiting room. Make sure they know people are there and people care. We can prevent suicide by accident if we just pay attention and think about what one is going thru personally and what kind of incidents they just went thru. Being a fireman is one of the best jobs in America however one of the most demanding and stressful. It is rewarding to be there for people and to make a difference however it is devastating when we can’t make a difference and the situation gets worse, someone loses their life.
You hear about the fire service being a big family nationwide and it is true but for the volunteers out there, be there for each other. We can save more by saving each other.
Look past the disguise!
Scott Co Rural, Mo