1. #1
    Junior Member

    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Location
    Ellensburg, WA
    Posts
    2

    Default Thoughts of a Retired Firefighter

    FIREFIGHTERS-MY OTHER FAMILY



    This week has not been easy for any firefighter, we become family (brothers/sisters) because we spend much time together including holiday dinners, birthdays, ect. Some departments have a 24 hour shifts which means we sleep, while on the job, in a bunkroom. We know that some firefighters grind their teeth while they sleep, some snore wildly, some are up two or three times a night to go to the bathroom, some even talk in their sleep. Some of the firefighters can cook better than our spouses, but don't give a spouse that information! We do become attached as we do with a real brother/sister, therefore we call them "brothers/sisters".

    Families have their hard times and disagreements, this is true of our other family, but just like related families we overcome the problems. We rely on others to save our life at a fire, we trust them, even though we just had an argument at the station, we know they will be there for us and us for them.

    We know about the other firefighters family, kids, dogs, cats, cars, vacations, money problems and if necessary each firefighter becomes a confident for a brother/sister to lean on.

    Knowing that brother firefighters are missing and/or dead hurts every firefighter to the bone, everyone of us have faced or will face the same situation at any time, never knowing if we will see our kids and spouse again, but knowing we did say goodbye when we left for work.

    Firefighters choose to be firefighters because of a desire to serve other people of the community. We say it is a "good" job and it is, even though it may not be the best paying job around. Firefighting is very hard work, the real work is after a fire and the cleanup starts. The adrenalin rush has left, you are tired, but still the search must go on. It is what is expected of you.

    Loss of any life, because of fire, is difficult to deal with emotionally. The life could be a fellow firefighter, friend, child or someone you do not know. It all takes a toll on your emotional status and not just for the day. Loss of life, by fire, is something a firefighter will probably view sometime during a career, it is a experience not easily accepted and lingers forever in our minds.

    Much more exhilarating is the rescue of a child or adult, this is a good memory. The faces of a relative or friend as you emerge from a fire on your hands and knees leading a person to safety are worth every effort of pain and confusion that is inflicted upon your body as you crawl, cough and gag from the smoke in your lungs and ears burning from the heat and finally you emerge into the waiting arms of fellow firefighters and anxious bystanders.

    I have seen loss of life and have rescued. Both incidences are still embedded in my memory bank. I am proud to say I am firefighter. Even though I am now retired I still consider myself a firefighter, I still listen for the sirens and look at firetrucks and stop into the fire station once in awhile to say hello to my younger firefighter brothers and sisters.



    Wyman Renfrow, Captain Retired
    Ellensburg Fire Department
    Ellensburg, WA 98926

  2. #2
    Member

    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    wintergreen va.
    Posts
    30

    Default

    This was a beutifully written piece. I share your beliefs ,i've been in the fire service for 9 years and have seen loss of life also this is very diffidult to deal with for me but i have the support of many fellow firefighters in times of need. You must keep in mind that once your a firefighter your always a firefighter,maybe not physically but certainly emotionally. Firefighting is not just a job it's a way of life.

  3. #3
    Member

    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Wilbur,Washington the State
    Posts
    61

    Default

    Wyman
    Thank You


    Terry Engelson
    Wilbur Wa.
    27 years of volunteering and I can't agree more with you!!
    Be Safe Out there.

  4. #4
    Junior Member

    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Location
    Virginia Beach, VA
    Posts
    16

    Default

    very well spoken. I am with you brother....
    Retired VBFD 08/31/98, VBFD Badge 115, Charter Union member local 2924

  5. #5
    Member

    Join Date
    May 2001
    Location
    Swartz Creek Mi. U. S. A.
    Posts
    40

    Default

    Beautiful Wyman


    Stay Safe

  6. #6
    Junior Member

    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Location
    Burlington, Iowa
    Posts
    4

    Default

    Amen, Brother
    Thank you

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts

Log in

Click here to log in or register