We never leave the Fire Service

Some interesting words

When a fireman leaves the “job” and retires to a better life, many are jealous, some are pleased and yet others, who may have already retired, wonder. We wonder if he knows what he is leaving behind, because we already know. We know, for example, that after a lifetime of camaraderie that few experience, it will remain as a longing for those past times. We know in a fireman’s life there is a fellowship which lasts long after the uniforms are hung up in the back of the closet. We know even if he throws them away, they will be on him with every step and breath that remains in his life. We also know how the very bearing of the man speaks of what he was and in his heart still is. These are the burdens of the job.

You will see what others do not see or choose to ignore and always will look at the rest of the fire service world with a respect for what they do; only grown in a lifetime of knowing. Never think for one moment you are escaping from that life. You are only escaping the “job” and merely being allowed to leave “active” duty.

So what I wish for you, is that whenever you ease into retirement, in your heart you never forget for one moment that you are still a member of the greatest fraternity the world has ever known.



I am a Fire-fighter.
How many times were you asked? “I bet you’ve seen some things being a Fire-fighter?”
Yes I have! I’ve seen life in the raw and just how precious it is to most!
I’ve seen death in all its horror and the lengths that some go, to achieve it!
I’ve seen laughter so contagious, that it’s drawn me in and left me with sides fit to split and gasping for breath!
I’ve seen tears shed by hundreds, many of joy, but far too many through sorrow and pain!
I’ve seen parents lose their children, siblings lose each other, children lose parents, and so, so, many lose pets!
I’ve seen children saved, siblings save each other, parents saved and beloved pets returned to fretful owners!
I’ve seen mouths open wide, but no noise heard, where some poor soul is just empty!
I’ve seen grown men acting like children, playing and joking only to see the same men later coughing and choking!
I’ve seen the dawn come up through a Smokey haze, more times than I care to remember!
I’ve seen those that you wouldn’t look twice at when passing in the street, do things, that in any other instance they would be called heroes!
I’ve seen my mates receive injuries time and time again, some so bad they never returned!
I’ve seen the tearful uniformed lines formed, as we’ve gathered to pay our last respects, to those that have paid the highest price!
I’ve seen actions by others that have made me hold my head high with pride!
I’ve seen the actions of a few, where I wish I could hide!
I’ve seen the hands of so many being held in the early hours, as they and their passengers are being cut free!
I’ve seen the looks of relief and heard “thank you” so many times, knowing, that this is the one and only time, we will meet!
I’ve seen, the lost hollow looks in searching eyes, their mournful screams, as they realise, their companions have not made it!
I’ve seen, myself holding the hands of too many, as they’ve slipped away trying so hard to hold on, always fighting to preserve their dignity!
I’ve seen, questions being asked, by those in need, “Is my mother? Is my father? Is my child OK?”
I’ve seen the answers given, that will haunt the givers to their graves!
I’ve seen all of this and so much more, with some of the greatest people I’ve ever met, in the best job in the world!
I’ve heard, this question asked a thousand times and the reply given is the same every time, one with the shrug of the shoulders. “Yeah a few!”
So! I have seen, but it is virtually impossible to answer this question.
You can only live it and experience it!


Kevin J. Wright.


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