Station Life column: Firey heroes give up so much to keep us safe

Raelene HallMidwest Times
Firefighter David Ellis in Wooroloo.
Camera IconFirefighter David Ellis in Wooroloo. Credit: Mick Dybac/DFES

As someone who loathes the heat and spends summer drooling over photos of snow and ice from northern hemisphere friends, I know I couldn’t cope with being a firefighter.

When I see the amount of protection gear they must wear and try to imagine the heat of that on top of the ferocious temperatures generated by the fires, I just shake my head.

It takes a certain kind of person to do something like that.

Yet time and time again, members of our community — men and women, young and older — put their lives on the line to save our homes, properties, animals and most importantly, our lives. I have no insight into why a person would do that, but I just thank God that they do.

I watched a news item of a man who had watched his home burn through the motion sensors connected to his phone and his comments about how he thought he could have stayed and protected his home, but realised if he had, he would have lost his life.

It just brought it home so vividly the sort of thing our firefighters face every time they go to a fire.

When I heard of a volunteer firefighter who had to drive past her own burning home to attend somewhere else, I wondered how anyone could possibly do this but this is the absolute strength of these people. What guts.

The word “heroes” gets thrown around so much in our society and I feel like it is one of the most overused words and is attributed to people and behaviours that don’t fit the true category of “heroes”.

To me, true heroes are people like our firefighters and other emergency services who give up so much for others, not just once or occasionally but all the time.

I guess you could say that many of them are employed and paid to do this job and that’s true, but in my mind, there isn’t enough pay in the world that would induce me to take on their jobs.

Can we take the time to think of these people outside of emergency situations?

Drop them a thankyou card, let them in the queue in front of you or shout them a meal.

Just think for a minute — where would we be without them?

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