No announcement yet.

Explain The Fire Service

This topic is closed.
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • 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
    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
      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
        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
          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.

          I WISH YOU COULD!

          -Author unknown-


          • #6
            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
              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...

              STAY SAFE,STAY LOW


              • #8
                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
                  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.

                  I LOVE THIS JOB!


                  • #10
                    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

                      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
                        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
                          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
                            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
                              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"


                              300x600 Ad Unit (In-View)


                              Upper 300x250