Photo Credit: brandoncawood.com
It’s inevitable, right? Fires. They’re going to happen and we know it, that’s why we prepare. Right?
Call it goofy, immature, being an idiot or whatever. I say I’m superstitious.
I usually call it, pleasing the fire gods. I typically blame long periods of no work on unhappy Fire Gods, and I’ll credit good working-fires to happy Fire Gods. Maybe it’s just a way in my head to justify all the hours we wait, train, and learn from reading, but some guys just seem to be in the right place at the right time, always! When you’re younger in the fire service you’re never in the right spot, almost feels like it’s never going to happen, but one day you get your shot, an indicator you have done something recently to please the Fire Gods. Are you prepared?
When you’re fresh or “green” as some say, the thought of chasing a nozzle down a dark hallway or some equivalent scenario runs through your head almost as much as that blonde you met at the store.
You lay awake at nights in your bunk hoping the fire tones drop, you practice your actions in your daydreams, and you train each shift (hopefully) for the inevitable because fires happen, we have no control or do we?
I like to think that firefighters that “get the action” have earned it somehow. On the drill field or the house apron. They have studied, learned, day dreamt about war stories, learning from their outcomes while not just hearing a story. Those firefighters have worked and worked harder, and when the tones pierce their ears, they just happen to be in the right spot at the right time. Sure even “a blind squirrel finds a nut sometimes” meaning the recliner jockey gets work too because the work is inevitable right?
Fire Gods? Probably not, but the sense of accomplishment from what feels like you’ve earned that fire and you’ve earned your success at that scene comes from the time spent preparing. Catching a fire after sitting in the chair, every shift is great because it’s what we love to do. When you bust your ass and skin your knuckles learning everything there is to know about this craft, you leave that scene feeling like the people you serve saw your best tonight and by the grace of the Fire Gods you have earned that fire and success.
Another example of a fire gods is the Greek mythological figure “Hephaetus”. “Hephaetus” is the Greek God of fire and blacksmithing.
The Roman God of fire is known as “Vulcan”. As per Britannica.com “Vulcan, in Roman religion, god of fire, particularly in its destructive aspects as volcanoes or conflagrations. Poetically, he is given all the attributes of the Greek Hephaestus. His worship was very ancient, and at Rome he had his own priest (flamen).”
What about past and present firefighters that can be idolized or even “god-like” in the eyes of a young aspiring fireman? Guys like Andy Fredericks, Lt. Ray McCormack, John Salka, Capt Robert Morris, Capt Jason Fullmer and Corey Lockhart.
These men are currently or have left the fire service better than they found it. Pushed limits and didn’t get pushed back. Took a stand to earn everything they were given.
So go and work. Earn that chance to prove yourselves and be reliable, skilled, and trustworthy. Earn the title “a good fireman”. Be at the right place at the right time. Work on that “Junkyard Dog” mentality and fight for your turn to work.