A writer in our local newspaper(for the mass media)wrote an article about FIREFIGHTERS and our unwavering answer to a cry/need for help from within a burning structure. It was written the first Sunday after the WTC debacle. The following missive is my answer to his...and many others' question. It's just too bad that it took something of this magnitude for us(I am a 23 year veteran of the Buffalo Fire Department local 282, as well as a member for the same number of years of the I.A.B.P.F.F.)to get the type of recognition that we have been receiving. Read if you will, reply if you want, PRAY, because WE should! sac The alarm sounds..be it night or day.... ..Usually(4 us)three long beeps~ Followed by, "An alarm of fire!".... ..Rapidly climbing aboard our apparatus~ As we don our gear, we're quickly on our way! A prayer is murmured through slightly pursed lips.... ..One for fortitude and the hope~ That everyone involved, will BENEFIT from this trip.... ..Our apprehensiveness is not for ourselves~ But for the possible loss of someone whom.... ..May be in need of our assistance~ So every effort is to be made.... ..To deliver as such, and thusly, we've continued to PRAY! That we be granted the wherewithal to make it through.... ..The heat and smoke that's sometimes unbearable~ Trying our damndest to get to "you".... ..To not put forth an all out effort~ Would stain us all with a mark that is unwearable! And so, with adrenalin pumping, eyes open wide.... ..Ears poised to hear coughing~ Moans for help, movement of somebody near.... ..All the while struggling against~ The additional burden of 40+ pounds of gear! Nothing must detract us.... ..From our mission~ Which is to locate "you" and remove "you".... ..To a safe position~ All of this while attempting to communicate.... ..With one another, wearing MSA masks~ Striving to be of one accord.... ..As we go about completing our task! The pervasive joy which abounds.... ..After confronting, seemingly overwhelming odds~ As we've reached "you" and removed "you" to safety.... ..Thank GOD! And as our other brother and sister firefighters.... ..Continue, together, to battle the flames~ Seeking to extinguish the threat! When the firefight is over.... ..This is when we get~ To regather equipment, reload hose.... ..And return to quarters~ From whence we'll be ready to roll.... ..Out of the station to the next "squad" or fire call! Whereas, we don't consider ourselves to be heroes.... ..For when the scenario presented above~ Doesn't quite play out.... ..We have a tendency to take it hard~ Therefore, no individual names.... ..Just acknowledge our CREWS~ Because to us, it's just another day.... ..And this..this is our JOB!** GOD bless..........................HUMANITY!!!!! SAARONCROWELL (C)2001 all rights reserved *SO THAT OTHERS MAY LIVE! **Not actually, but thinking like this can (along with prayer) help one make it through the day!