Oh Lord, please help this firefighter
To be skillful and brave.
Please let me never falter A Fireman's Mom
When there are lives to save.
My son begins and ends his
Be with my fellow firefighters day like every other son,
And ride with us each run, Except as a fire fighter,
From the moment we "suit up" his day is never done.
Until the job is done.
The volunteer has no "shift",
Be with me as I guide a child He's on twenty-four hour call,
Through the dark and smokey haze. Never knowing exactly when the tones
Give me strength and courage are going to fall.
As I fight the deadly blaze.
He's up and dressed, still half-asleep,
Lord, I put my safety in your hands now heading for his gear.
But in the chaos and the strife Each time I hear the backdoor slam,
Help me act with selfless courage my heart is filled with fear.
God, just let me save a life.
Is it a fire in someone's home?
~ Author Unknown ~ A car wreck down the block?
A medical emergency,
with life counting down the clock?
The Fireman's Wife's Prayer
Or is it just a false alarm,
The table's set, the meal's prepared, someone's human error?
our guests will soon arrive. All these calls, you must believe,
My husband once more disappears still fill my heart with terror.
with a hope of keeping a child alive.
While waiting at home alone, Fire is a living thing,
our plans having gone awry it breathes a chilling breath.
My first impulse is merely to sit And reaches out so hot and mean
right down and cry. to cause untimely death.
But soon again I realize the
importance of my life Yes, my son's a fireman,
When I agreed to take on the duties his life is always on the line.
of being a fireman's wife. But I know he loves his job,
While there are many drawbacks, and I pray he will be fine.
I'll take them in my stride,
~ Author Unknown ~
Knowing "My Daddy saved a life"
our children can say with pride.
The gusting winds and raging flames
may be his final fate.
But with God's help I can remain
my fireman's faithful mate.
~ Author Unknown ~
The brotherhood of Firemen runs deep in all our veins. We love this job with all our hearts and our brothers just
the same. Although we have our little fights and disagreements at the station house. When one of us is in need
our brothers are there to help. The brotherhood is strong and true and consumes our very soul.
We will be brothers till the end, this vowel I do bestow.
~ Author Unknown ~
Do You Just Belong?
Are you an active member,
The kind that would be missed.
Or are you just contented,
That your name is on the list?
Do you attend the meetings,
And mingle with the flock,
Or do you meet in private,
And criticize and knock?
Do you take an active part,
To help the work along,
Or are you satisfied to be,
The kind who just belongs?
The Last Alarm
Do you work on committees,
My father was a fireman. To this there is no trick.
He drove a big red truck Or leave the work to just a few,
and when he'd go to work each day And talk about the clique?
he'd say, "Mother wish me luck."
Then Dad would not come home again So come to meetings often,
'til sometime the next day. And help with hand and heart.
But the thing that bothered me the most Don't just be a member,
was things some folks would say, But take an active part.
"A fireman's life is easy,
he eats and sleeps and plays, Think this over colleagues,
and sometimes he won't fight a fire for days." You know what's right from wrong.
When I first heard these words Are you a valued member,
I was too young to understand, Or do you just belong?
but I knew when people had trouble
Dad was there to lend a hand. ~ Author Unknown ~
Then my father went to work one day
and kissed us all goodbye,
but little did we realize
that night we would all cry.
My father lost his life that night
when the floor gave way below
and I'd wondered why he'd risk his life
for someone he did not know.
But, now I truly realize
the greatest gift a man can give
is to lay his life upon the line
so that someone else might live.
So as we go from day to day
and we pray to God above,
say a prayer for your local firemen.
They may save the one's you love.
~ Jim Martinez ~
"Hey mom!" He yelled from the attic door,
"What's these old heavy boots and hard hat for?"
With a lump in her throat and a tear stained cheek
His mother swallowed and started to speak.
"Come here my son," his mother said,
"There's things to tell when I clear my head."
The past races madly through her mind.
She searched her heart for the words to find.
At last she sighed and rubbed his hair
And the words that followed I'd like to share.
"Those boots & hat," She said with pride,
"Were worn by a man with grit inside.
He wore them to help people in need.
Though facing danger would never concede. Brother when you weep for me
Many a time in the dead of night Remember that it was meant to be
He jumped in those boots and flashed out of sight Lay me down and when you leave
To answer a call, not knowing for sure Remember I'll be at your sleeve
What danger or heartache he may have to endure. In every dark and choking hall
Your father, my son, was not like most dads, I'll be there as you slowly crawl
It was mainly because of the job he had. On every roof in driving snow
His life was devoted to all of mankind, I'll hold your coat and you will know
Just why he chose it's not clear in my mind. In cellars hot with searing heat
I've often regretted the life that we led, At windows where a gate you meet
When every third night I was alone in our bed. In closets where young children hide
But your mother is proud to say she was part You know I'll be there at your side
Of a man who possessed such a courageous heart. The house from which I now respond
So the memories I've kept & the love I will save Is overstaffed with heroes gone
Are small consolations for the life that he gave. Men who answered one last bell
Yet, for all his discomfort & all of his pain Did the job and did it well
The time that he spent here was never in vain." As firemen we understand
I know full well these words to be true, That death's a card dealt in our hand
And not one word did she misconstrue. A card we hope we never play
But from all my mother shared that day But one we hold there anyway
It's these last few words I'd like to convey. That card is something we ignore
My mother, with tears, save a long loving sigh, As we crawl across a weakened floor
And I knew what would follow was not meant to die. For we know that we're the only prayer
With a smile so warm & a voice very weak, For anyone that might be there
She kissed my young brow & started to speak. So remember as you wipe your tears
"Your father's days here made others seem The joy I knew throughout the years
brighter. As I did the job I loved to do
For your father, my son, was a firefighter." I pray that thought will see you through
~ Author Unknown ~ ~ Author Unknown ~
Back Home Again
The pager makes it's beeping noise,
The scanner comes to life.
You see excitement on his face
As he goes off to fight.
No matter what you're doing
Or whatever the current plan,
All you can say is "Later Hon"
Reason As he gets those keys in hand.
This poem was written just after the disaster in New You say a little prayer
York, September 11, 2001. That God will keep him safe,
That with all the pride and bravery
Being a Volunteer Fire Fighter has brought many No one will make a mistake.
things into reality. The meanings of these
paragraphs describe our duties for all Emergency You know those men are Brothers
Personnel, and the dangers of them. And fiercely will protect
They also describe the pride and fear as we work to The lives of each other and others -
help others. Many of us freeze, but then just go on They will truly give their best!
to do the work and let the shock absorb as we finish
the task. You and your "man's best friend"
Are both loyal and true.
We have all been taught that you look after yourself You keep each other company
and your team, because if you don’t…you will Waiting for him to return to you.
become a casualty, then someone else will have to
drag you out. And when that front door opens
With "Honey I'm home" again,
But as most of us know when the adrenaline starts You thank the Lord he's back OK,
pumping, it seems you’ve received more strength You’re a brave and strong Fireman.
and energy, your mind is buzzing with many
questions and directions, while safety is put on the ~ Donna Sherer ~
back burner (in some cases).
There are many questions asked such as how, why,
when and where? As one gets hurt or killed at a
This poem is dedicated to all Volunteer and Career
Let us not forget the ones that have passed on, nor
the ones to follow.
It is good to remember the past, because
You will be a part of it!
~ Katharine Blohm ~
A Firefighters Gloves
A Firefighters Gloves hold many things A gloves just a glove till it's on a firefighter
From elderly arms who works all day long just to pull an all-nighter
And into the fray they charge without fear
A Firefighters Gloves hold many things At the sound of a "Help" they think that they hear
From elderly arms to a kids broken swing
From the hands they shake and the backs they pat When firefighters hands go into the gloves
To the tiny claw marks of another treed cat It's a firefighter who always fills it with love
Sometimes the sorrow is too much to bear
At 2 am they are filled with chrome And it seeps the glove and burns deep "in there"
From the DWI who was on her way home
And the equipment they use to roll back the dash Off comes the gloves when the call is done
From a family of 6 she involved in the crash And into the pocket until the next run
The hands become lonely and cold for a bit
The brush rakes in spring wear the palms out and shake just a little thinking of it
When the wind does a "90" to fill them with doubt
The thumb of the glove wipes sweat from the brow And they sit there so red eyed with their gloves in
Of the face of a firefighter who mutters "What now". their coats
The tears come so fast that furniture floats
They hold inch and halves flowing one twenty five They're not so brave now; their hands they can't
so the ones going in, come back out alive hide
When the regulator goes; then there isn't too much, I guess it just means that their human inside
but the bypass valve they eagerly clutch
And though some are paid and others are not
The rescue equipment, the ropes, the C-collars; The gloves feel the same when it's cold or it's hot
The lives that they save never measured in dollars To someone you're helping to just get along
are the obvious things firefighters gloves hold When you fill them with love, you always feel strong
or, so that is what I've always been told
And so when I go on my final big ride
But there are other things Firefighters Gloves touch I hope to have my gloves by my side
Those are the things we all need so much To show St. Peter at that heavenly gate
They hold back the rage on that 3 am call Cause as everyone knows; firefighters don't wait
They hold in the fear when your lost in a hall ~ Candi Powell ~
They hold back the pity, agony, sorrow
They hold in the desire to "Do it tomorrow"
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 like 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 40 years for a pulse and find
none. I start CPR anyway, hoping to bring him back, knowing intuitively that it is too late. But wanting his wife
and family to know everything possible was done.
I wish you knew 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, the eeriness of being able to see absolutely nothing in
dense smoke ~ sensations that I have become too familiar with.
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 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 or she waiting for us
with a 2x4 or a gun?
I wish you could be in the emergency room as a doctor pronounces dead the beautiful five-year-old girl that I
tried to save during the past 25 minutes. Who will never go on her first date or say the words “I love you,
I wish you could know the frustration I feel in the cab 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 the 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 know my thoughts a s I help extricate a girl of teenage years from the mangled remains of her
automobile. “What if this was my sister, my girlfriend, or a friend? What was her parents’ reaction going to be
when they opened the door to find a police officer with hat in hand?
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 back from the last call I was on. I wish you could feel the hurt as
people verbally and sometime physically, abuse us or belittle what I do, or as they express their attitudes or “It
will never happen to me.”
I wish you could know the brotherhood and self-satisfaction of helping save a life, or preserving someone’s
property, of being there in time of crisis, or creating order from total chaos.
I wish you could understand what it feels like to have a little boy tugging at your arm and asking. "Is Mommy
okay?" Not even being able to look in his eyes without tears from your own and not knowing what to say. Or 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 know all along he did not have his seat belt on ~ Sensations I am too familiar with.
Unless you have lived with this kind of life, you will probably never truly understand or appreciate who I am, we
are, or what our job really means to us
……I WISH YOU COULD.
~ Author Unknown ~
History of the Maltese Cross Badge
Fire fighters are identified by and are very proud of the badge that identifies them with their department. The
majority of fire fighter's badges are in the shape of the Maltese Cross. Why the Maltese Cross? The Maltese
Cross is a symbol of protection and a badge of honor with a story that is hundreds of years old.
A courageous band of Crusaders from Malta, known as the knights of St. John, fought the Saracens for
possession of the Holy Land. The need for an identifiable emblem for knights had become crucial. Because of
the extensive armor which covered their entire bodies and faces, the knights were unable to distinguish friend
from foe in battle. They chose the cross of Calvary as their symbol, since they fought their battles as a holy
cause. The cross was later called the "Maltese Cross" and represented the principles of charity, loyalty, chivalry,
gallantry, generosity to friend and foe, protection of the weak, and dexterity in service. The Knights encountered
a new weapon unknown to European warriors. It was a simple but horrible device of war; it wrought excruciating
pain and agonizing death upon the brave fighters for the Cross. The Saracen's weapon was fire!!
As the Crusaders advanced over the walls of the city they were struck by glass bombs containing naphtha.
When they became saturated with the highly flammable liquid, the Saracen's hurled a flaming tree into their
midst. Hundreds of Knights were burned alive. Others were called upon to perform heroic deeds by rescuing
fellow knights and extinguishing fires. In acknowledgement of these feats, the cross worn by these knights was
decorated and inscribed. This was considered a most honorable acclaim. Thus these men became our first fire
fighters and the first of a long list of courageous fire fighters.
The Maltese Cross is your symbol of protection. It means that the fire fighter who wears this cross is willing to
lay down his/her life for you, just as crusaders sacrificed their lives for their fellow man so many years ago. The
Maltese Cross is a fire fighter's badge of honor, signifying that he or she works in courage....a ladder-rung away