As we bring this week in November to a close, we've enjoyed and overindulged, shopped 'til we dropped, and celebrated the beginning of a festive time of year.
For me and all of my fellow volunteer firefighter brothers and sisters in the area, it's also been a time to decompress and reflect on what we have seen and done this past week.
Two major fires and a tragic crash in three days is an unusual occurrence.
We can't determine the schedule for our responses, so we do what is needed, when it's necessary. This week was taxing, both physically and emotionally for all involved.
The bottom line is the people. The trucks don't run, fire doesn't get extinguished quickly, trapped victims extricated, without the dedicated volunteer men and women who respond 24/7/365.
So I went through the week's pictures and pulled out shots of the people who were there, doing the job, working together for a common goal. You might recognize a co-worker or neighbor and not know that they are an active volunteer.
I don't know all of their names, but I know that when we need them, they come, and when they need us, we go. We don't all make them all, but we know we're all working as a team, existing as an extended family.
That's one of the things I'm thankful for every day.
“I have no ambition in this world but one, and that is to be a fireman. The position may, in the eyes of some, appear to be a lowly one; but we who know the work which the fireman has to do believe that his is a noble calling. Our proudest moment is to save lives. Under the impulse of such thoughts, the nobility of the occupation thrills us and stimulates us to deeds of daring, even of supreme sacrifice.”
Chief Edward F. Croker FDNY 1899-1911