Letzter Alarm
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Fireman`s Prayer

When I am called to duty, God
Wherever flames may rage,
Give me strength to save some life
Whatever be its age.

Help me embrace a little child
Before it is too late
Or save an older person from
The horror of that fate.

Enable me to be alert and hear the weakest shout
And quickly and efficiently
To put the fire out.

I want to fill my calling and
To give the best in me,
To guard my every neighbor and
Protect his property.

And if according to my fate
I am to lose my life,
Please bless with Your protecting hand
My children and my wife.

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Firefighters Memorial of the Memphis FD, USA


I Wish You Could

I wish you could see the sadness of a business man as his livelihood goes up

in flames or that family returning home, only to find their house and

belongings damaged or destroyed.

I wish you could know what it is to search a burning bedroom for trapped

children, flames rolling above your head, your palms and knees burning as you

crawl, the floor sagging under your weight as the kitchen beneath you burns.

I wish you could comprehend a wife's horror at 3 A.M. as I check her husband

of forty years for a pulse and find none. I start CPR anyway, hoping against

hope to bring him back, knowing intuitively it is too late. But wanting his

wife and family to know everything possible was done.

I wish you could know the unique smell of burning insulation, the taste of

soot-filled mucus, the feeling of intense heat through your turnout gear, the

sound of flames crackling, and the eeriness of being able to see absolutely

nothing in dense smoke--"sensations that I have become too familiar with."

I wish you could understand how it feels to go to school in the morning after

having spent most of the night, hot and soaking wet at a multiple alarm fire.

I wish you could read my mind as I respond to a building fire, `Is this a

false alarm or a working, breathing fire? How is the building constructed?

What hazards await me? Is anyone trapped?' or to an EMS call, `What is wrong

with the patient? Is it minor or life-threatening? Is the caller really in

distress or is he waiting for us with a 2x4 or a gun?'

I wish you could be in the emergency room as the doctor pronounces dead the

beautiful little five-year old girl that I have been trying to save during

the past twenty-five minutes, who will never go on her first date or say the

words, "I love you Mommy!", again.

I wish you could know the frustration I feel in the cab of the engine, the

driver with his foot pressing down hard on the pedal, my arm tugging again

and again at the air horn chain, as you fail to yield right-of-way at an

intersection or in traffic. When you need us, however, your first comment

upon our arrival will be, "It took you forever to get here!"

I wish you could read my thoughts as I help extricate a girl of teenage years

from the mangled remains of her automobile, `What if this were my sister, my

girlfriend, or a friend? What were her parents' reactions going to be as they

open the door to find a police officer, HAT IN HAND?'

I wish you could know how it feels to walk in the back door and greet my

parents and family, not having the heart to tell them that you nearly did not

come home from this last call.

I wish you could feel my hurt as people verbally, and sometimes physically,

abuse us or belittle what I do, or as they express their attitudes of, "It

will never happen to me."

I wish you could realize the physical, emotional, and mental drain of missed

meals, lost sleep and forgone social activities, in addition to all the

tragedy my eyes have viewed.

I wish you could know the brotherhood and self-satisfaction of helping save a

life or preserving someone's property, of being there in times of crisis, or

creating order from total CHAOS.

I wish you could understand what it feels like to have a little boy tugging

on your arm and asking, "Is my mommy o.k.?" Not even being able to look in

his eyes without tears falling from your own and not knowing what to say. Or

to have hold back a long-time friend who watches his buddy having rescue

breathing done on him as they take him away in the ambulance. You knowing all

along he did not have his seat belt on--sensations that I have become too


Unless you have lived this kind of life, you will never truly understand or

appreciate who I am, what we are, or what our job really means to us.


 Randell Broadwater, Firefighter/EMT-A and Jason Kopacko



What makes the Firefighter so special?


He's the guy next door - a man's man with the memory of a little boy.

He has never gotten over the excitement of engines and sirens and danger.

He's a guy like you and me with warts and worries and unfulfilled dreams.

Yet he stands taller than most of us.

He's a fireman.

He puts it all on the line when the bell rings.

A fireman is at once the most fortunate and the least fortunate of men.

He's a man who saves lives because he has seen too much death.

He's a gentle man because he has seen the awesome

power of violence out of control.

He's responsive to a child's laughter because his arms have held

too many small bodies that will never laugh again.

He's a man who appreciates the simple pleasures of life -

hot coffee held in numb, unbending fingers - a warm bed for bone

and muscle compelled beyond feeling - the camaraderie of brave men -

the divine peace and selfless service of a job well done in the name of all


He doesn't wear buttons or wave flags or shout obscenities.

When he marches, it is to honor a fallen comrade.

He doesn't preach the brotherhood of man.

He lives it.

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