Litkicks Message Board Archive

WHOA, WHOA ... calm down now everybody

Posted to Poetry and Politics




A firefighter's gonna be needed on this board in a minute or two.

1) Cops are not firefighters. You can't really say that the same personalities attracted to one profession are also attracted to the other, so let's not get off on police brutality and all that.

2) Stress. Tends to make people turn to alcohol and other recreational drugs, but I think the incidences of binge drinking in firehouses are not quite so prevalent as Hella is making out. Maybe in New York , it's different. I was never there, so I don't know.

3) Adrenalin junkies. OK, so that article mentioned that firefighters are adrenalin junkies? Tfire asked earlier if anyone had close associations with firefighters, so how do they know they are adrenalin junkies? Well, heck, I can answer that. I have a brother who is a firefighter, and if he isn't an adrenalin junkie, I'll eat my Epson printer! I have a bit of the same tendency. I work BETTER under stress, and have been known to seek out trouble, just to get myself out of it. "Is That All There Is?" might be the theme song of my life.

But ... does that INVALIDATE the heroism involved in being able to rush into a burning building to save someone? I doubt it. That's a silly argument to even attempt. Thank your lucky stars that there ARE people who are adrenalin junky enough to do these kinds of things, or there would be a lot more dead folks out there.

As for saying that a firefighter is no better than anybody else and ought to be given the same kind of burial as anybody else, if he dies in the line of duty -- well, huh. That is more dumb thinking (sorry Hella). In some jobs, risking your life DOES go with the territory, but again this does not invalidate the incredible risks involved with performance of said duty. To say, well, the firefighter showed up for work, so where's the heroism in that? is pretty backwards. It's almost like saying that the Olympic runner was just showing up for work, too. Why should he get a medal just because he could run faster than the next guy? Firefighters who die in the line of duty do deserve a hero's burial, of sorts.

ON THE OTHER HAND, this article pointed out some rather brutally crushing facts about the so-called duties of firefighters : 24 on, 24 off, 24 on, 48 off, and so on. Ridiculous amounts of overtime pay for anything more than that. Humungous amounts of vacation and even more humungous amounts of sick time!!! Yikes! And that's on top of the 24 off/24 on scenario! And as for ACTION, well, the times I've heard about real ACTION from the current family firefighter hero have been few and far between. Maybe it's modesty, but often I suspect that it just doesn't happen that much. Answering emergency calls, washing fire trucks and yadayaya, is all par for the course during the "ON" days, but I do think that heroism of the AVERAGE firefighter is blown WAY out of proportion by the public. C'mon, the AVERAGE firefighter doesn't risk his life once in a lifetime, so where's the heroism there? Sure, they COULD do it, and they are signed up for unenviable position of getting killed saving someone else. All that is worthy of great praise, but I do agree that the public overdoes it, just a smidge.

As for firefighters being government servants, and reaping the benefits thereof ---whooo yaaa!!! I couldn't agree more. I think there's an awful lot of waste in this area, and I wish I could have my hands on some of the generous overtime pay, sick leave and vacation leaves and awesome retirement packages! I'd sure make some firefighters sit up and take notice!

I think SOME firefighters DO bask in the glory and play it up for all it's worth. Others do NOT. As in every profession, there are those who like toot their own horns. In general, though, I find firefighters and emergency personnel to be very LIKEABLE, CHARISMATIC men. They are young, strong, handsome, intelligent and compassionate. What better combination of character traits could you find in a male person? I think those sterling qualities, more than anything else, make them subject to exorbitant amounts of praise by the public. It's so terribly EASY to praise handsome young gentlemen whose job is to rush into burning buildings!!!! :-)