* You can tell what type of fire it is by the smell of smoke 10 miles away. * You have ever had a heated debate over the color of fire trucks. * You have ever spent 10 minutes trying to force open a door only to have someone come along and open it by turning the handle. * You lay out your clothes from that day so if there is a call at night you can find them quickly. * You take great joy in smashing the windows of a car parked in a fire zone or in front of a hydrant. * You have ever been airborne without an aircraft and water was your thrust. * You always wear red suspenders. * You carry a ton of specially modified tools in your pocket. * You ever cursed out someone for armor-alling the seats to make them look nice. * You've ever clung to the air horn chord for dear life because the driver is insane. * You have ever played jingle bells at Xmas time on the air horns to clear traffic. * You have ever said, "she's hot tonight" and NOT been talking about a girl. * You have ever called a person found after a fire a "crispy critter". * You have ever smoked and there wasn't a cigarette in sight. *You have ever stomped out a fire with your boots because you couldn't wait for water. * You have ever walked 3 miles into the woods in 100 degree heat in full turnout gear and a 5 gallon or more water can strapped on your back just to put out a fire. * Your kids are afraid to get into water fights with you. * "Climbing the corporate ladder" has nothing to do with career advancement. * Your work gear makes you sound like Darth Vader. * You roll around in anything that just burned to make your new gear look old. * You take pride in the fact that you haven't washed your gear in years. *You carry enough in your pockets to give the Swiss army knives competition. * You carry enough in your car to extinguish a minor blaze. * You have ever juggled hot coals with your gloves. * Your own vehicle has more lights than a Christmas tree. * All the shirts you own say you are a firefighter. * You find yourself living at the fire department 365 days a year. * When you go to rent a movie and come back with Backdraft Every time. * You have more pagers than money in your wallet. * If the smell of fire excites you more than sex does. * If assembling a mile and a half of hose running up a hill to catch a fire is a good day. * The microwave goes off and you run out of the house thinking it was your pager. * If you have ever woken up thinking your pager went off and as you look at it, it does. * When you really think that rusty old hydrant will look good in the garden. * All your friends give you t-shirts from their departments for your birthday, Christmas, anniversary etc. * If your wife voluntarily chooses the lumpy side of the bed to avoid being trampled in route to a call! * If your wife/girlfriend has learned to duck and take cover when she hears the pager go off for fear of being run down. *If you had to extricate someone by cutting the car doors off on one side and realized there was nothing wrong with the doors on the other side. * If you have more toy fire trucks than your kids do.
ONCE I HAD A DREAM WHILE I WAS SLEEPING THAT THE WHOLE WORLD PASSED AWAY AND THE CHIEF OF ALL CREATION, WORKED THE SCENE THAT JUDGEMENT DAY.
THERE WERE PEOPLE OF EVERY COLOR, THERE WERE PEOPLE OF EVERY SIZE. THEY WERE PUTTING THEM INTO SECTORS, ACCORDING TO THE WAY THEY LED THEIR LIVES ASSISTANT CHIEF ANGELS HAD THEIR SECTORS, THEY KNEW HOW TO HANDLE THINGS
THEN I NOTICED A GROUP OF PEOPLE..... THEY WERE HOLDING THEM TO THE SIDE. REHABBING SORT OF LOOSE AND EASY, WHILE THE ANGELS WORKED THEIR SECTORS WIDE. I.C. JUDGED AND TAGGED THE OTHERS, BY THIS BOOK OF RULES HE HELD.
THEN I HEARD HIM TELL AN ANGEL.... "NOW BRING ON THE FIREFIGHTERS." SO THEY GEARED UP AND ADVANCED FORWARD, SOME SURPRISED BUT NOT WORRIED AT ALL. AND WENT UP TO MEET THIS CHIEF OF JUDGEMENT DAY.... CAME THIS RUGGED SEASONED BRIGADE.
EACH ONE PULLED THEIR HELMETS ON TIGHTER, THAT THEY DID FROM HABIT....... FOR ITS A TRICK OF MOST FIREFIGHTERS TO DO THIS BEFORE THEY ENTER A WORLD OF FLAME.
SOME WERE YOUNG , SOME WERE OLDER, SOME WALKED WITH A LIMPING STRIDE. SOME STILL HAD ON THEIR SCBA'S ...... THE ONES THEY WERE WEARING WHEN THEY DIED. THEY ALL STOOD IN LINE TO ANSWER, FOR THEY WAY THEY HAD SPENT THEIR DAYS. AND THEY FACED THE I.C. OF HEAVEN WITH A CALM AND LEVEL GAZE. AND THE CHIEF OF ALL CREATION..... GAVE THE FIREFIGHTERS A CAREFUL LOOK. THEN HE SAID TO OPERATIONS ANGEL.... "BRING ME THAT FIREGROUND OPS BOOK.
SO I TURNED AND ASKED RESOURCE ANGEL....... WHY THE BOOK OF JUDGEMENT HAD BEEN TURNED 'ROUND? AND HE JUDGED THIS GROUP OF FIREFIGHTERS.... BY THE LAWS THAT RULE THE FIREGROUND?
AND HE ANSWERED, VERY SOLEMN, THAT THE REASON IS BECAUSE, YOU CAN NEVER JUDGE A FIREFIGHTER............... BY SOME CIVILIAN'S LAWS.
YOU SEE THIS GROUP OF PEOPLE, THEY HAVE FOUGHT THE DEVIL HIMSELF IN HIS OWN DEN, THEY HAVE SAVED THE LIVES OF OTHERS, COUNTLESS AND UNKNOWN, WITHOUT A THOUGHT THAT THE LIVES THAT COULD BE LOST, VERY WELL, COULD BE THEIR OWN.
THEY HAVE FOUGHT TO QUELL THE FLAME AND CHAOS, TO LOOK THROUGH THE SMOKE AND RUIN, ONLY TO SEE THAT DEVIL LAUGH, AND RUN AWAY. KNOWING HE'LL BE BACK AGAIN, IN A NEW PLACE AND A DIFFERENT DAY. BUT THIS GROUP GOES BACK AT HIM, WITH THE STRENGTH OF A HUNDRED MEN, KNOWING ITS A FIGHT ON EARTH, THEY CAN NEVER WIN.
THEN I LOOKED BACK AT THE CHIEF OF HEAVEN, JUST IN TIME TO HEAR HIM SAY.........
"Have I ever told you about the love of my life?" Cap asked, with an unlike him grin. 'No!' I exclaimed, Glad to see a break in the silence we'd been in. 'Tell me Cap! Tell me!' I said with a burst of energy only a rookie could show. 'Is she pretty Cap? Is she sweet?' "Now just simmer down there Rook, You've gotta listen close, so I'll take it slow. 'Cause my days here are short, and somebody's gotta take my seat."
He explained that he was not her one and only, that many loved her the same. He wasn't jealous of the others, he said, "It takes us all just to keep her tame." "And no, she ain't that pretty, and none at all sweet". "But I love her just the same Rook, and you will too, in time." Then his eyes grew distant, and his lips looked kinda thin.
He told me of the first time he met her," On the big one in Seventy Eight. Threw me right down the stairs she did, so hard I thought I'd met my fate." But HIS Cap, he said, had drug him out by his pack. And gave him this little talk, I guess the same now that I'm gettin' "Don't ever give her slack Rook. 'Cause once she takes it son, she never, ever, gives it back. She's evil Rook. But you gotta love her just the same."
"You see, to love her is to know her, And you gotta know her to keep her tame. If you stick around for a while rook, You'll see her dish out a lot of heartache and strife. But if you love her like I told you son, Love her with all your heart. You'll be able to give someone the best gift of all Rook, The gift of life".
I want to tell that little boy his Mom will be just fine I want to tell that dad we got his daughter out in time I want to tell that wife her husband will be home tonight I don't want to tell it like it is, I want to tell them lies.
You didn't put their seat belts on, you feel you killed your kids I want to say you didn't ... but in a way, you did. You pound your fists into my chest, you're hurting so inside I want to say you'll be ok, I want to tell you lies.
You left chemicals within his reach and now it's in his eyes I want to say your son will see, not tell you he'll be blind. You ask me if he'll be OK, with pleading in your eyes I want to say that yes he will, I want to tell you lies.
I can see you're crying as your life goes up in smoke. If you'd maintained that smoke alarm, your children may have woke. Don't grab my arm and ask me if your family is alive. Don't make me tell you they're all dead, I want to tell you lies.
I want to say she'll be ok, you didn't take her life I hear you say you love her and you'd never hurt your wife. You thought you didn't drink too much, you thought that you could drive. I don't want to say how wrong you were, I want to tell you lies.
You only left her for a moment, it happens all the time. How could she have fallen from there? You thought she couldn't climb. I want to say her neck's not broken, that she will be just fine. I don't want to say she's paralyzed, I want to tell you lies.
I want to tell this teen his buddies didn't die in vain Because he thought that it'd be cool to try to beat that train I don't want to tell him this will haunt him all his life I want to say that he'll forget, I want to tell him lies.
You left the cabinet open and your daughter found the gun. Now you want me to undo the damage that's been done. You tell me she's your only child, you say she's only five. I don't want to say she won't see six, I want to tell you lies.
He fell into the pool when you just went to grab the phone. It was only for a second that you left him there alone. If you let the damn phone ring perhaps your boy would be alive. But I don't want to tell you that, I want to tell you lies.
The fact that you were speeding caused that car to overturn and we couldn't get them out of there before the whole thing burned. Did they suffer? Yes, they suffered, as they slowly burned alive. But I don't want to say those words, I want to tell you lies.
But I have to tell it like it is, until my shift is through And then the real lies begin, when I come home to you. You ask me how my day was, and I say it was just fine I hope you understand, sometimes, I have to tell you lies.
Dedicated to all the Police Officers, Firefighters, EMTs, Paramedics, Emergency Flight Crews and all civil servants who deal with the tragedies of life and death. The saddest of all, being those that involve children, and could have been prevented.
Wear your seat belts. Keep poisons, flammables, fireworks, etc. out of reach of children. Keep your smoke alarm in operating order, if you don't have one, get one. Never, ever drive if you've been drinking. Never leave your toddler unattended. Teens, be responsible drivers, obey all traffic lights, posted limits, warnings and signals at RR crossings. Keep your guns locked and out of reach, buy a trigger guard. Protect our children, they are our future... Am I preaching? Am I nagging? I guess I am just telling it like it is... Or I could just tell you a lie.