So working for a fire district has been interesting 'if' nothing else.
As I get to know the guys and they become more and more comfortable with me, this one thing imparticular stands out.
They as a whole don't want to be seen as heros. This struck me as funny.
Little kids look up to fire fighters, men and women are grateful to them for saving their luv'd ones and their homes (if possible). And yet they don't want to be placed in the hero box.
My response to one of them was just this 'don't be a dream killer. suck it up and move on.'
As we continued our talk, it became evident that some where along the lines of being a fire fighter they feel that they are placed on a pedestal that does not allow them to be human or make human mistakes.
Yesterday two of our paramedics lost a guy. You could see it written all over their face, the grief; but at the same time this is their job and they must move on. In speaking with one of the guys he stated, 'you know we assessed the situation, and it was one of two roads to take. we choose one way to address the situation, I still feel it was the best choice; but then again we will never know.'
I sat back and listened, as they worked and talked thru the nonsense in their head at that moment. You can see both of them struggling with the events of the day, and somehow they need to find away to make it all okay. I sit back and wonder how they do that.........
As they move on to a more typical topic like home life, kids ect. You can see they are trying to be distracted, trying to get away from the series of events.
Then we head back to the hero subject. And one guy says ' I am only human, and I suck, I don't want to be any ones hero. I am doing my job does not make me a hero.'
I laugh out loud. I tell him he is a cry baby and to get over it.
Here's how I see it.
These guys/gals go into situations that make the rest of us run the other way. They go into situations against their better judgement, against every fiber of their being that tells them to run the other way - because the situations are dangerous. They are life and death, they are gory, they are gruesome; and yet they go. They put fear aside, they make instant life or death decisions and they go into all sort of situations that make the rest of us cringe.
I sit at a desk, and crunch numbers - not quite the same pedestal.
We continued talking and then I had this to say as well;
'okay so as humans you guys all prob suck. It is prob hard to be married to you, prob hard to put up with you. ' As the masses put you on a pedestal you have to understand that not for one moment do 'we' (as the general) see beyond your fire truck and gear. We never see the person underneath the gear - and for us that is okay.
As I spoke one of them said, 'I never thought of it like that. Thanks for the prospective.'
I smiled and said 'as and FYI you are a jackass. but at the same time IF I was ever in an accident I would want it to be you that saved me. I trust your decisions, trust your instincts and trust that you did your absolute best. Secondly, I trust you won't look at my underwear in the back of an ambulance (unless you absolutely have to) -ha!!'
Let us place them in the hero box, and once again don't be a dream killer.
We all need someone to look up too.
I work with 132 hero's and yes folks as far as general men go; they suck.
As far as fire rescue and paramedics go, some of the best. Welcome to my world of hero's, it is a tough job.