Tuesday, April 29, 2014

We’ll Take it From Here

They didn’t know going in
But they knew, they knew
But when all Hell broke loose
They should have withdrew

That wasn’t in their nature
They had to push ahead
Instead of going the safe way
Took the hero’s way instead

We’ve each faced that moment
When we have to decide
That’s the point when lesser men
Retreat safely outside

But not these brave firefighters
They would have none of that
For they had a job before them
Which they had to get at

So they pushed ever forward
Through smoke, through heat
No giving up now for them
No sounding retreat

But the fire got behind them
And their water ran out
That’s when they realized
And in crept some doubt

“Is someone coming to get us?”
You could now hear their fear
The Lieutenant calls another Mayday
Hoping someone will hear

They fought bravely still, however
Asking for more water
Letting their brothers know
Saying, “It’s getting hotter”

Only another fireman can gauge
By a muffled transmission
The moment a battle against fire
Becomes a rescue mission

Every man on that scene
Knew only too well
Without quick intervention
This could be a death knell

Their brothers fought to reach them
But it was not to be
They were ordered from the building
Despite each man’s plea

We know what the dangers are
Before we sign on
We put our lives on the line
From day one and thereon

Now these heroes will be honored
By all of their peers
We’ll march and salute them
Try to hold back our tears

God bless you, Mike and Ed…
You’ve been given “all clear”
So go enjoy your rest brothers
We’ll take it from here

Back Bay of Boston

A wind-whipped day in the Back Bay of Boston
Gusts approaching 40 miles-per-hour
Heavy smoke obscuring the view of the street
A cloak of black hiding all but a Tower

A fire had begun in the basement of a brownstone
Located at two-ninety-eight Beacon Street
As apparatus maneuvered to the front of the building
Remaining residents began their retreat

While first-in Jakes searched the building for victims
Others headed down toward the basement
They need to quickly put water on the seat of the fire
Concentrating on their line placement

There’s nothing more important than containing the flames
Before it can blossom to the stairs
To reach the fire entails descending a red-hot chimney
The heat burning your neck hairs

Crossing the Gates of Hades is the only true comparison
To which you can relate this task
Lost in the darkness despite all this fire and heat
Peering for a glow through your mask

A blaze in a large apartment building requires more
Than a single Ladder and Engine
Nine Alarms are transmitted to call additional help
To contain any horizontal extension

Any firefighter who has made that trip into Hell
Will say you just have to push through
For once on the bottom there’s at least a little relief
Unless the fire gets behind you

With the wind whipping through the entire building
The flames can play hide and seek
One minute they’re located right in front of your eyes
And the next behind you they sneak

The boys on the Engine had battled to the basement
And thought they had an escape
But the gusts from the wind played its deadly hand
And the seeds of disaster took shape

At first it was a Mayday that seemed fairly common
At least as these things go
But it was quickly apparent their exit was blocked
And the flames were beginning to grow

Things can turn swiftly at the scene of a fire
From good to bad to worse
For this very reason we are continually drilling
Every contingency is rehearsed

When these firefighters had first entered the building
It seemed a job like many before
But the scene had transformed from calm to utter chaos
By the time they were carried out the door