1. #1
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post Explain The Fire Service

    I'm sure some of you have come up with a decent explanation of what the fire service entails, especially the draw on personal lives...

    I'm an active volly, and trying to explain what firefighting is all about to my girlfriend (See my most recent post) and I just can't explain what it's all about to weel... I find it to be a lifestyle, what about you all.

    Thanks in Advance,


  2. #2
    Firehouse.com Guest


    The Fire Service. It is a service steeped in tradition. It is to aleviate pain and suffering, to intervene in the loss of life and limb. It is a calling that is in your blood, once it is there you cannot get it out! To really understand what the service is all about and to know what the deed does to one person, you must experiance it for yourself. I find it very hard to explain.

    Stay safe,


    If in doubt - Call us out

  3. #3
    Firehouse.com Guest


    Us a bunch of filosofers?

    What is the fire service in the context you ask?

    To the real firefighter it's in the blood is about all I can say.

    To the fake firefighter it's just a job until something better comes along.

    Easier questions:

    What's love got to do with it? (T. Turner)

    What is love?

    Why is there air? (Cosby)

    Why is God ready and willing to forgive us of the most unthinkable acts? (The Good Book)

    Which way is up?

    When is TM moving to Canada now that Bush is president. (TM, Firehouse Forum Post)

    When are Baldwin and BS moving to who cares where for the same reason?


  4. #4
    Firehouse.com Guest


    Mongo, you can't be a philosopher until you know how to spell philosopher.

    "When the bell goes ding-ding, its time to get on the woo-woo."
    "Dusting desire - starting to learn. Walking through fire with out a burn..."
    Youngstown Fire Department

    [This message has been edited by daysleeper47 (edited 02-02-2001).]

  5. #5
    Firehouse.com Guest


    Spot --

    I occassionally have similar problems with my wife. There are certain times where she questions me on how I can have interest in a a field that can be so stressful and at times depressing and frustrating.

    My response is because it is in my blood and without the fire service, a piece of me would be missing.

    I'm attaching a poem I found a while back that somewhat addresses the issue of trying to explain the feelings of serving as a FF.

    " I Wish You Could "

    I wish you could see
    the sadness of a business man as his
    livelihood goes up in flames

    or that family returning home,
    only to find their house and belongings
    damaged or destroyed.

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

    I wish you could comprehend
    a wife's horror at 3 A.M. as I check her
    husband of forty years for a pulse and find

    I start CPR anyway, hoping against the odds
    to bring him back,
    knowing intuitively it is too late.
    But wanting his wife and family to know
    everything possible was done.

    I wish you could know
    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, and the eeriness of being able to see absolutely nothing in
    dense smoke
    sensations that I have become too familiar

    I wish you could understand
    how it feels to go to work in the morning
    after having spent most of the night, hot
    and soaking wet at a multiple alarm fire.

    I wish you could read
    my mind as I respond to a building fire, 'Is this a false alarm or a working, breathing
    fire? How is the building constructed? What hazards await me? Is anyone trapped or are they all out?'or to an EMS 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 little
    five-year old girl that I have 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, 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 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 read
    my thoughts as I help extricate a girl of
    teenage years from the mangled remains of
    her automobile, 'What if this were my
    sister, my girlfriend, or a friend?
    What were her parents' reactions going to be
    as they open the door to find a police

    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 home from this last call.

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

    I wish you could know
    the brotherhood and self-satisfaction of helping save a life or preserving someone's
    property, of being there in times of crisis,
    or creating order from total CHAOS.

    I wish you could understand
    what it feels like to have a little boy tugging on your arm and asking, "Is my Mommy
    O.K.?" Not even being able to look in his eyes without tears falling from your own and
    not knowing what to say. Or to have to hold
    back a long-time friend who watches his buddy having rescue breathing done on him as
    they take him away in the ambulance.
    You knowing all along he did not have his
    seat belt on.

    Sensations that I have become too familiar

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


    -Author unknown-

  6. #6
    Firehouse.com Guest


    If you are having trouble explaining it why don't you try to get her involved in it a little so she can see. I have involved my wife with different things and encouraged her to come to fire scenses to see what happens, I think she has answered many of here questions this way. I have noticed she has fewer questions now and rather than trying to get to stay in the middle of dinner when the tones go off she understands that someone might need me more than she does at that moment.

  7. #7
    DOG 4035
    Firehouse.com Guest


    Most people love us. They see us in their neighborhoods helping them and their neighbors. Where the "GOOD GUYS". But to explain what we do? I think only someone who does it day in and day out truly knows, and it can't be explained. My wife (of 10 years) knows me as a fireman, but can't understand, how or why. She just knows that I'm into the job. Just my thoughts...


  8. #8
    Firehouse.com Guest


    Tell her we are the good guys. People love to see us. We can break down thier door, break thier windows, throw thier furniture out the windows, spray water all over thier house, poke holes in the ceiling and walk on thier carpet with our dirty shoes. They all love us. But when the Police knock on the door they hate them. Do you know what Policemen and Firemen have in common? They all want to be Firemen!

  9. #9
    Firehouse.com Guest


    The first thing that came to mind was giving. The fire service is all about giving. Think about it. How much more do we give of ourselves than we receive? We give up meal time, sleep time, valuable time with loved ones, and sometimes our lives. And for what? Many times there is no real emergency (though it is perceived to be by the citizen caller). Other times we see the horors of life while doing the best we can to make someone's life as normal as possible--sometimes scarring us for life in the process. But the satisfaction we recieve from having helped someone overcomes all the negative we see, experience, or have to sacrafice in this job.


  10. #10
    Firehouse.com Guest


    Thanks for pointing that out DS47, it was early.

    cpr4u has a pretty good list to add to...

    The overprotective father of the 17yo good lookin' thing will let you cut her clothes off if you feel it's necessary.

    And for some reason when we get there, folks just seem to think everythings gonna be alright. You never hear 'em tell PD "I'm glad you guys are here." But we hear that all the time. Then they go and call everyone and tell them "hey the fire dept's here and everythings going to be OK" (unless your FD is really a mess in which case they go and call everyone an tell them that too).

  11. #11
    Althea Forhan
    Firehouse.com Guest



    I'm really glad you posted the poem "I Wish" on the forum. It's been floating around in firefighting circles and I think more civillians need to hear it.

    As for explaining the fire service; It's the differnce between life & death, chaos and order, whether or not that little girl will ever go on her first date.


  12. #12
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Thumbs up

    OK, Spot - here's my 2 cents! Get her involved - let her see what's going on. As a volly, that should be easier for you than if you were paid! Our dept. would be lost without husband-wife teams. If she's not interested in the actual firefighting, (our best pump operator is a female!) may be she could assist the chief with paperwork? Assist with fundraisers? how about cleaning up the firehouse?? I've never known a volunteer dept. that couldn't use help somewhere. I wish you the VERY best of luck - and hope you keep us posted on this proposal!!

    God is our Fire Chief;
    Jesus is our Incident Commander.

  13. #13
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Thumbs up

    FFTrainer, THAT was INTENSE!!! Like Althea, I think the general Q needs to see this poem. I also think it is a must for any council person to have presented to them. Thanks for the post.

    Spot, I agree that you need to get your girl involved. I firmly believe that if everything is right at home, then it is much easier on the job. Our families are involved in the fire service, whether they want to be or not.


    Just my opinions, not my departments. If they are alike, it usually means somethin's gonna happen!

  14. #14
    Firehouse.com Guest


    It is in the Blood...
    It is something that you cannot shake...
    It is the Desire to Help others... at the cost of the Highest Price...

    Rescue Squad #2
    "First In ~ Last Out"

  15. #15
    Firehouse.com Guest


    Given to me by a firend...

    I have no ambition in this world but one, and that is to be a fireman. The position may appear to be a lowly one; but for those who know the work which a fireman has to do, believe he has a nobel calling.
    Our proudest monent...to save lives. Under the impulse of such thoughts the nobility of the occupation thrills us and stimulates us to deeds of daring, even of supreme sacrifice.

    See you at the BIG One,

    Rescue Squad #2
    "First In ~ Last Out"

  16. #16
    Firehouse.com Guest


    Here's how I'd explain it:

    The job is about helping people who can't help themselves. Its about placing the life of someone you've never met above your own, without thinking twice about it. Its about the comraderie between the members of your company. It is in the blood like others have said. Its your nature. Its your calling to put it all on the line, many times over, at the drop of a hat. But, its never a big deal- its fun and you get a kick out of it.


  17. #17
    Firehouse.com Guest


    Fire Fighting is not a "job" it is a calling.
    We see and hear things that no one should endure.
    We are your brothers, sisters, neighbors, the guy or girl you have coffee with at the local cafe.
    But we are also the people that will be the first there in your and your families time of need.
    No matter who you are....
    female, male
    white, black
    young or old
    We will be there.
    And that's what we live for.

  18. #18
    Firehouse.com Guest



    I'm not a fire fighter, but if I were trying to tell someone what fire service is all about, especially a woman, I would say,

    Think about having your only child laying on the bed, not breathing and turning blue. Think about the urgency and fear you would be feeling. The need for help in a form you know is capable of supplying that help. Then think about hearing a siren at your front door, and watching stranger come through it. Their uniform alone gives you a feeling of confidence that everything will be alright. Watching them in action over your baby shows you that they care, and your baby is in good hands. Then listen as your baby finally lets out that frightened cry, and see a smile come across a man's face as he picks it up and says it's alright.

    I can't even begin to understand the rewarding feeling that must bring, nor can I understand the frustration that they must face everyday as they watch someone take their last breath. I can't begin to understand why anyone would put themselves through that, but I'll tell you one thing, I'm certainly thankful that there are people like you and the other's here, who give that much of themselves.

    It's not a service, it's a commitment, it's a calling, it's definitely a gift that very few possess. Thank you to all of you for sharing your gift.

  19. #19
    Firehouse.com Guest



    It is great to hear a civillian say stuff like that. I wish more of your peers had the same beliefs. You are obviously a person with a deep sense of purpose...Maybe you should consider joining your local VFD.

  20. #20
    Firehouse.com Guest



    I know enough about myself to know I don't have what it takes. I tend to get overly emotional with dying people, sick children, and I'd never be any good on an accident scene. That's why I said it is a gift, and I don't have it.

    I think everyone can do their part to help, and it doesn't necessarily have to be as a member. I do the department more good in my position, than I could ever do them in the field. Geez, they'd have two patients.

    The men and women in fire service are owed a debt of gratitude by all of us, but they owe a debt of gratitude to the good Lord. Don't forget to thank Him for that gift, and don't ignore it if you have it. Ok, I'm through preaching. Keep up the good work.

  21. #21
    Firehouse.com Guest


    That quote comes from Edward F. Crocker. He was the Chief of FDNY at the turn of the century 1899-1911. Some of the best sayings I have heard have come from him. Everyone has the right idea. Keep them going.

    Stay safe,


    If in doubt - Call us out

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