Friday, September 9, 2011

Protection for the Heart

His helmet is designed to give him maximum protection from falling debris and hot ashes. His boots, leggings, jacket and gloves are all designed to withstand extreme heat. With an oxygen tank on his back he can attack the flame and escape the great danger of smoke.

His training and equipment is maintained to the highest degree of readiness. Every man and woman who wears the uniform and attacks the enemy stands proud, determined and ready. At the sound of every siren self is stripped away as boots, leggings, jacket, gloves, coat and helmet are donned and trusted. Fear of the unknown and the known enemy is overcome with courage and determination to face whatever is around the corner.

Courage and peril are connected in his life. Scenes of great peril call for greater courage. Countless scenes of destruction and great peril have witnessed courage beyond words. A structure near collapse finds a fire warrior searching for a missing child. Frantic and panic stricken parents stand in horror as their child is no where to be found. And then, he emerges from the flames as they reach high into the night sky, child and Teddy Bear in his arms. Placing her into the mother's arms, she sobs and her tears leave tiny streaks through the dirt and ash covering her cheeks. He stands quietly for just a moment, knowing that every warrior who battles smoke and flame would do the same.

What protects the heart of the warrior who faces flame and smoke, debris and destruction, despair and death? The smoke and ash are washed down the drain and forgotten. The hoses and equipment are cleaned and put at the ready, ready to jump at any call. The imprints upon the heart of the warrior fill him with pride, satisfaction, horror and the unimaginable. His comrades share the same scenes etched deep into their minds. Strength is found in comradeship, the glance of understanding, the fleeting connection of eyes, all provide the infusion that keeps them going.

The bond shared is deep and lasting. These brothers and sisters would place their own life in peril without a moments hesitation. They would sacrifice their own safety in an instant, a sacrifice of self to save a fellow comrade. When hardship and suffering attack like the flames, they stand shoulder to shoulder and back to back. One in need is treated like family. The one who is blessed shares with all. Laughter is loved by all and tears appear in every eye.

Today ladder trucks park on opposite sides of Main Street. Their extension ladders reach fifty feet into the sky and the platforms cross high above the street. These machines, used to save lives and property cross their swords in final salute to a fireman being laid to rest. The county dispatch gives a final call to the fallen warrior, as his badge number is called no response comes forth. The fire bell on the old ladder truck sounds three times and the warriors ready themselves for action with courage and determination.


  1. Beautifully written! I just sent a link to a firefighter friend in Tennessee.

  2. Tedd,
    Thanks for the blog on firefighters as my son Tom Cool is one in Williamsburg NM. and I worry about him a lot. But he really likes being a fireman. He loves saving lives.
    I appreciate all that the firefighters do.
    Thanks again and may God richly Bless you more and more.