Where There’s Smoke
My best thoughts are spurred on by my pastor. A couple of weeks ago Pastor Kyle’s sermon was on 1 Corinthians 12:12 - “There is one body, but it has many parts. But all its many parts make up one body...” His 25th wedding anniversary was on the following Monday and his analysis of the scripture was that when we enter into a marriage, we enter into a we which is bigger than me. Many parts - one body. Scripture talks about how when a couple enters into a marriage, they become one person. He then turned to being a Christian - and again when we become Christians, we enter into a we which is bigger than me. The faith is such that we have to continue making disciples of others.
Okay Hirsch where are you going with this? I think being a member of a fire department is similar - when we become firefighters, we enter into a we which is bigger than me - service to the community. It is no longer about us - that’s why many of us can’t handle the title of hero. It is about the others that we serve. Too many of us get caught up in the petty things of day-to-day operations of the fire department - we get upset with a co-worker or with another volunteer. Those are “me” things - not “we” things. We get bent out of shape when a new rule or regulation comes down from on high - that is a “me” thing not a “we” thing. This ties into the family aspect of fire departments too. Your spouse, your kids, your cousins, your parents - they all are very proud of you for what you do. They may be scared for what could happen to you - but when you get right down to it - it is about the “we” and not the “me.”
We know that many career firefighters are paid unbelievably low salaries. We know that volunteers do the job either for free or for very little. Anyone who has ever been a firefighter knows that this is the best job anyone could have. It is rewarding. It is exciting. It is about helping out our neighbors when they need help the most. It is about “we” not about “me.”
Maybe this is all old fashioned but normally at regional schools I ask the youngest and oldest of firefighters why they joined and it is never about them - it is about their community and the people that live there. Granted I am asking those that have made the leap to serve - and not those that don’t. Frankly I don’t think that is any different today than it was 60 years ago when my dad signed on. And I wholeheartedly believe that young folks are no different today than 60 years ago. They get it that this is important work. They get it that this is dangerous work. They get it that nothing they do in life will be as challenging and as rewarding to be a firefighter. Do it for “we” not for “me” because where there’s smoke...