Time To Be Serious

22 Dec

And I can do that, because it is my blog.

Some of you may have figured out that I used to live in the Midwest.  At some point in my life.  Which means I used to be a firefighter/paramedic in the Midwest.  For the past however many years, I have been signed up through http://www.firefighterclosecalls.com to receive e-mail updates when firefighters/paramedics are seriously injured or killed in the line of duty.  Imagine my sadness when I read of the LOD deaths of two firefighters this morning in Chicago during a fire.  Several more have been injured.  As you read this, the information I have may not be current, as it is continually being updated.

It was never my dream to be a firefighter.  All I wanted to be was a paramedic.  And I was living my dream.  I worked in a gang-ridden neighborhood…surrounded by all of the gunshots, stabbings, drunk-driving accidents, and other traumas I could handle.  I was loving life.  But I also had an hour-and-a-half commute…one way.  One day I got a call from my ex-mother-in-law telling me my son didn’t come home from school…I was too far away.

My son was just fine, but I was badly shaken.  I found a department closer to home.  One of the requirements of said department was to become a firefighter.  I was not digging this…run into a fire??  Are you fucking crazy??? During the academy I broke out in cold sweats, I worried for my safety, I worried who would care for my children if I died in a fire.  The captains and the chiefs who taught the academy liked to show videos on ways to die.  I almost quit.  I almost walked out.  I almost let the fire academy beat me, and win.

But I finished.  And I not only finished, I kicked its ass.  I finished at the top of my class.  I did things I NEVER imagined I’d do.  Like jump head first out of a second story window.  Like run into a burning building.  Like run back into a burning building.  Walk on roofs.  Carry people down ladders.  Use a chain-saw (laugh…but I never used one before).  Kick my way through an outside wall.  Use an axe to break my way out of a house.  Drag people twice my size to safety.  I am one BAD-ASS BITCH.

The academy also gave me the one thing I also needed…a very healthy respect for fire.  Fire can turn on you at any time.  It is highly unpredictable.  What it is supposed to do, it probably won’t.  Unfortunately, this unpredictability can result in loss of lives of my fellow brothers.  And every time I read a new e-mail, I feel sad for that loss.  But today’s e-mail hit a little harder.

I may not be running into burning buildings anymore, however I still feel the loss.  I was injured in the line of duty.  I was very fortunate it was during a training session, and not during a live fire.  At least it was during controlled circumstances.  Very very lucky.

Please, stay safe in whatever you decide to do with your life, or wherever your life decides to lead you.  Have fun, be bad, but be safe.

Much love, Esme


One Response to “Time To Be Serious”

  1. nikki04 December 22, 2010 at 2:59 pm #

    Right back at ya, lady – and you ARE one bad ass bitch! 😀

    PS Speaking of the front lines: HEY REPUBLICAN SENATORS how about getting off your ass and passing that lil bit of legislature you’re filibustering??? Holidays or not, the men and women at Ground Zero deserve our support, you assholes!

    Sorry. I get distracted by douchebagery.

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