Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Firefighter Love

Last night I was watching the evening news and saw a brief what seemed like a 60 second or less spot to let us know that our local Gainesville area Firefighters would be wearing pink for breast cancer awareness.  I thought ‘Yay!’  And then a few spots later was what seemed like a much lengthier segment about an actress once again going to court or something.  I didn’t even pay attention to the story about whatever it was that she is going through because I was thinking about how I thought the Firefighters deserved much more attention.  To me Firefighters are just as important as our military and law enforcement.

78% of fire departments must raise their own funds for some or all of their funding.  To me this means that they provide a public service and have to support themselves to do it.  Perhaps next time you see that your local fire department is trying to raise funds you will find it in your heart to donate whatever you can, even if it’s a dollar or some change, it all adds up.  These men and women need the proper equipment to do their jobs and to survive. 

In 2002 volunteer Firefighters made up 74% of the firefighting personnel.  That is incredible to me.  And I know that statistic is probably not much different today.  Some people volunteer to pull bingo numbers and some people volunteer to run into burning buildings.  This year between 1/1/11 and 9/30/11 62.3% of firefighter fatalities were volunteer Firefighters.

For more information on firefighter fatality statistics: FEMA Fatality Statistics

I happen to know that some of the fire departments in country areas near where I reside are volunteer.  Help support these fire departments.  If you are in one of those areas you will never know when a tragedy will strike your home or business.  You want them to be prepared and to have the proper equipment to save your loved ones, belongings and/or livelihood right?

Not only do the fire departments put out fires, perform EMT duties, provide safety and awareness training, but I also see them do other worthy causes and raise money to benefit things that have nothing to do with supporting their department.  How truly benevolent!  Next time you see them out there holding out a boot or a hat and asking for donations no matter what it is for throw them a bone. 

You may be able to find information about your local fire department by doing a quick online search of your city or county and the key word “fire department”.  Even if you cannot thank them with money perhaps you can show your gratitude by explaining how brave the Firefighters are to your neighborhood children while teaching them about fire safety and hopefully practicing home evacuation plans, and then having them draw pictures and write letters thanking the Firefighters for what they do.  Or maybe drop off food.  You can always contact them and ask if they have any specific needs or wants.  There are so many ways to show your support.  Be creative and never forget to be grateful for their sacrifice.  There are also many funds set up that you can donate towards to help the families who have lost loved ones who gave their lives firefighting.  

Being kind and showing gratitude can be one of the most powerful tools you have in life.

I found the statistics listed in this blog on the Fireman's Fund website as well as the FEMA website.

Bravo to all of those who risk their lives to save our lives and homes every day.  My admiration and gratitude for the amazing people who put their lives on the line for the rest of us will never cease.

Much love and thank you for your bravery!

This screenshot is taken from a banner on the FEMA website.  Everything that you love and hold dear to your heart could become in danger in an instant.  For tips and saftey guides please visit the FEMA website and/or your local fire department's website.

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