What is a Fireman? Good Question.

I’m not sure where or when I got this, so I’ve no one to give credit to, but it is worth sharing again. Obviously it is old enough that the term Fireman still worked. Now of course, it is firefighter, not fireman. After working with firefighters as a dispatcher, and marrying a firefighter I can tell you it still rings true. Enjoy!

What is a Fireman?


He’s a man’s man with the sharp memory of a little boy who never got over the excitement of engines and sirens and smoke and anger.
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 savours life because he has seen too much of death. He’s a gentle man because he has seen to much of the awesome power of violent forces out of control. He’s a man 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, the flush of fresh air pumping through smoke and fire convulsing lungs, a warm bed for bone and muscle beyond feeling, the camaraderie of brave men, the divine peace of selfless service and a job well done in the name of all men.

He doesn’t wear buttons or wave flags or shout obscenities and when he marches, it is to honour a fallen comrade.

He doesn’t preach the brotherhood of man.

He lives it!

Ed and I about December 1999. Unfortunately one of the few times we got in our dressed uniform, another funeral 🙁

About Arlene Pretty

I am married and live in Langley, BC, Canada. I am a retired Fire Service Dispatcher. I spend a lot of my time working on my blog and am Manager of Details for my husband’s business Ed’s Woodturning. In my spare time I enjoy motorcycle touring and have been across Canada and through a lot of the US on my bike. I also enjoy cruising in the winter. I am also an avid genealogist spending most of my time working on our tree and helping friends build theirs. I became a grandmother 5 Sept 2018 and love every minute I get to spend with my grandson.
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