It makes no difference whether it is your full-time career or your volunteer calling, when we respond to a call we believe that we will be going home. We never give any acknowledgment to that little though in the back of our minds that we’ve already said our last good byes.
Regardless of what we say, we all came into public safety for the same reason – we wanted to help people and make a difference in the lives we touch.
We knowing accept the risks that come with the role that we’ve chosen. We don’t talk about the potential for death with each other, we simply do what we are called to. When we experience a “close-call” event we may give each other a knowing look but we don’t talk to each other about how close it was.
When we start our shift or run out of the house after the pager goes off we don’t say anything. We look into the eyes of our loved-ones as we leave and wait for that look to be replaced by a smile when we come back though the door.
We don’t talk about the dangers, not because we are macho or uncaring we know, all to well, that the hazards exist. To acknowledge those hazards would allow an element of fear to enter our minds and hearts and we know that fear could prevent us from doing what is required of us in a moment of greatest need.
To entertain the thought of what could happen can paralyze us, stopping us in our boots and jeopardizing everyone else around us.
On days like this, waking up to the news of a line of duty death another type of fear sets in. Who was it? How did I leave things when we last saw each other? Than when the name becomes known your mind races more. You realize that there is something else that you have not said.
Please remember all of them and those from years past by visiting the National Fallen Firefighter Foundation website.