Tuesday, June 29, 2010

still crazy and still true

It looks like Upsala firefighters will be camping on a roof this fall after all. You may remember my April 22 whine about no one wanting to partner with Upsala for the Fire Within calendar project. People change and projects change, sometimes for the better, and sometimes for the worse. This time, The Fire Within changed it's program slightly . . . which helped persuade two other departments to get on board . . . which helped me persuade my department to get on board, and voila, it looks like we are in the calendar business after all. Quite honestly, I think the directors of my board still think I'm crazy, and I may be, but at least I am in good company. More on this later once the details have been settled.

To use an old expression, it never rains, but it pours. The volunteer firefighter climate hasn't exactly turned into a tropical rain forest, but there are glimmers of hope that some relief from the long drought in public support might be on the way. The Canadian Association of Fire Chiefs is lobbying the federal government to win tax relief for volunteer firefighters, and has developed some resources to use at the local level to aid their mission. I avoid band wagons because I'm not fond of crowded spaces, but this particular wagon still has plenty of room. If you are a firefighter, or want to support the volunteer fire service, here are some links:

Sample letter from the fire chief to the local MP
Information and stats on volunteer firefighters
Sample letter to the media
Sample letter from constituent to local MP

To top off all the potentially good press, it's really true, firefighters do rescue cats. Check out this story.


Humans have a very narrow comfort range. In fact, if our bodies don't stay a pleasant 37 degrees (98.6 for the Fahrenheit minded), and have plenty of fresh, clean air, we get uncomfortable and die real fast. Firefighters are the same as everyone else. We can't breathe underwater (although I think maybe Graham and Frank can), we choke on smoke, and our bodies scorch or freeze depending on which temperature extreme they are exposed to.

Take away our breathing apparatus and bunker gear and water rescue equipment and other bells and whistles (and the hours and hours of training that go with it), and we are just like anyone else.

Here's the point (and I knew I'd find a point if I just rambled long enough): we need that expensive equipment and training. Take it away, or let it get old and worn out, and we just stand and watch the world burn and drown and freeze like everyone else.

We need that support.

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