Tuesday, April 23, 2013



I’m 58…..but I feel like I’m 70.

I’ve been on the job for 32 years…..but it feels like 50.

I’m sooooo deep-down dog tired.

I used to love this job…..now I dread going to work.

I tire too quickly, drink too much and cry too easily…..

I used to expect the best from everyone…..but now I trust no one!

I used to care about everyone…..now I only care about my family, my fellow first responders and the victims

I used to write in an attempt to change hearts and minds…..now I write to keep sane

Getting very close to the time to pack it all in and retire.

Too much abuse to my body…..to my heart…..to my very soul.

Nothing seems to change; at least not in positive measures.

I’ve just about lost hope on the direction of society and I fear for my children’s and grandchildren’s futures, but feel powerless to protect them.

I desperately want to some how, magically, wake up to a brighter tomorrow but…..

I’ve seen too many suffer, too many perish, too many hate and too many simply demand that “we” provide for “them”…..entitlement!

I’ve seen too many people lie & cheat & worse with no consequence…..and too many good people punished in the name of “image” or “political correctness”…..

I’ve seen too many people abuse the power afforded them and too many good, decent, moral people who feel (correctly so) powerless to make a difference.

At some point a person has to walk away…………………………

Monday, April 22, 2013

West, Texas Fire & Boston Heroes (again)


It’s hard to imagine that a Volunteer Fire Department that has been without a Line of Duty Death for it’s over 100 year existence, serves a community of about 2,800 residents and only had approximately 30 members could lose 9 members in a split second….but that’s exactly what happened in West, Texas this past week. This department reportedly responded to only around 120 calls per year.

Yet, these members responded without hesitation to an obviously large fire in, by far, the most hazardous property in the entire area. All they knew was that their community and its residents were facing a major emergency and they were the ones that had signed on to “protect life and property” in their town. It was not their job, but it was their duty. They knew that the only way to prevent a catastrophic disaster was to act bravely and act fast. So, they rushed to the scene and very quickly paid the ultimate price. The price that all First Responders know, in the back of their minds, that they might be called on to pay some day.

Heroes are not the ones who stand up in front of you and pound on their chests to let you know how tough and brave they are. Real heroes are born of circumstance. They are the ones who step up and answer the call without thinking of themselves when faced with choice of putting themselves in danger to assist and protect strangers or distancing themselves from the danger expecting “others” to step up. Real heroes are the “others”. These men from West, Texas are the real heroes.

So are the First Responders, doctors, nurses and good Samaritans who stepped up in Boston and its surrounding communities earlier this week. Be proud that America has so many potential heroes amongst us who are willing to place themselves in danger to assist the rest of us in our time of need. This week has certainly put the spotlight directly on the “great” qualities and character that makes this country so strong. Our willingness to stand tough and fight will always outweigh any hardships, natural or man-wrought, that we may face as a country!

God bless all those who have stood tall this past week!!

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Boston Marathon Bombings

Yesterday, in Boston, evil once again reared its ugly head. It’s becoming all too commonplace in this world of ours. We’re becoming numb to it all. That is, until it hits close to home.

Remember that these cowardly acts perpetrated against innocent victims in other parts of the globe have the same personal consequences to real people that this act had in Boston. It’s easy to ignore the pain and the horror when it’s halfway around the world, but it is exactly the same. We can only search out and punish the perpetrators and pray for the victims and their loved ones and families.

Another common factor in all these terrible scenes is the incredible heroism and dedication of the First Responders. This was never as visible as it was on 9/11 where hundreds of firefighters, police officers and EMS personnel were witnessed by millions on TV running into the towers before the unthinkable happened. The same reaction could be witnessed yesterday by all First Responders and other Good Samaritan civilians and doctors. They rushed to help even after a second bomb echoed in their ear, making them aware that there could be more attacks to come. God bless them all.

I have been a firefighter for over 32 years and it never surprises me that these men and women act this way at the most terrifying moments we encounter as human beings. Sure, we train for Mass Casualty events quite often. Training, however, only teaches you what needs to be done in these situations, but it takes a special quality in an individual to actually react so unselfishly and selflessly at a moment’s notice. These men and women will not forget the horrific sights they saw yesterday – never. They will be awakened with these images for the rest of their lives. But….even knowing the dangers they were immediately facing and being aware of the long term effects that they would encounter they willingly, and eagerly, rushed to the scene to make a difference. That’s what they do. That’s what we do.

I pray for all those who were so horribly affected and I’m extremely proud of my brother and sister First Responders. God bless them all!