|When I am called to duty, God, whenever 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 to give the best in me,
To guard my every neighbor and protect their property.
And if, according to my fate, I am to lose my life;
Please bless with your protecting hand my children and my wife.
I was reminded of exactly what firefighters do when I watched the news the other night. They never know what they are walking into. A home was burning. The man was already gone to run his bakery when his wife called him to come home. She had the children in the yard already and had called 911 to get help. That family of four stood and watched as their home burned to total ruin. Still, they hugged each other and prayed a prayer of thanks that no one was injured. They watched as the firemen had to tear their home apart to put out the embers of that fire. Both floors of the two-story house were destroyed by flames and smoke damage. Such a tragedy it was on that night.
Still in the wee hours of the morning, the man disappeared for a short time. He brought back coffee, rolls and donuts for the men and women that were helping to put out the fire and save his neighbors’ homes from the flames. He knew his home was a total loss, but he was thankful for the men and women that made sure his family was safe and that the fire did not spread to his neighbors. He hugged the firemen and women that put the fire out. It was well into the afternoon before those first responders could leave that sight.
Later that same day, in front of what used to be his home, he said, “Thank God that nobody was hurt. Somehow, those things can be replaced. But lives can’t.” He thanked the people that served so well in keeping his family safe. It was not only the firemen, but the people in dispatch, the ambulance that showed up (even though it was not needed), the police officers that blocked off the street and volunteers and neighbors that are helping them now. In my record book, that family is truly blessed. Thank you to all of the people that serve us so well.