Saturday, May 5, 2012

A FireWife Speaks ~ Tina Clarke

What is a Firefighter Worth? by Tina Clarke ~ Proud Wife of a Cumberland Firefighter  <-----So worth the read!

All I can say is, YOU GO GIRL!!  This article said everything I could say and probably what so many other fire families wish the general public knew.  We (here) face a public that thinks my husband is wasting their tax payer money by going to the grocery store while they are duty.  And they go on and on and on about it in the paper, through editorials and their comments to articles regarding budget cuts.  Really??  You do realize that they take the engine/truck to the grocery stores so that they can ditch their cart on a moments notice and jump in their rig and tend to your asthma/attack/seizure/chest pain at a moment's notice.  If they sent out only their cook, their rig would be considered out of service and your medical attention might take another 5 minutes.

Why don't they just brown bag it?  Probably because they are away from home for 24 hours at a crack and risk their lives on a regular basis and food creates bonds.  Bonds that mean his crew will do their damnedest to make sure my husband comes home to us after his shift is over, even when things get rough.  If you study any part of history, you will see that food is a major part of how the world has run.  From state dinners to breaking of bread that is the basis our most loving communion traditions in our Christian churches to power lunches in corporate America that hae made millions of dollars for businesses around the world.  Food creates bonds.Food does really build relationships.  Please don't make me create a Prezi and give a lecture on this, it is after all Saturday.  I am sorry, but if my husband is going to venture into a home that is going up in flames to save your poodle, then I want him to trust the crew he is going into that inferno with. dog-victor-college-treats

Oh, I forgot, people are also upset that they drive by the fire house and see the firefighters sitting out on a nice night. Why should they, the tax paying public, pay firefighters to sit outside and enjoy a nice night?  Really??  You do realize that they toss those chairs aside in a moment's notice when the tones go off and they need to rescue your teenage daughter from a mangled car that sideswiped that tree when she lost control when she was texting.  Or because your wife's water just broke and she is feeling "pushy".

Are you willing to jump out of bed and help me when my house has been broken into at 1:38 in the morning and my husband is tending to a college kid who had a few too many at a party. My husband is will to come to yours when you fall off that stool your wife told you was not study enough to climb up on.

Don't judge.  My husband has had to watch too many milestones and events through ooVoo or Skype that the rest of the world gets to enjoy, all because he is making sure your family is safe and gets the attention they need.  To make sure you are safe.  Please realize firefighters are simply trying to make sure their family has food and clothing and a home, money to pay the insurance deductibles (YUP, firefighters have them, too.).  Why get upset that they are asking for a cost of living raise?  No one goes into this for the money?  We took a significant loss of income for my husband to follow his dream.  It is so not about the money.  But you still want firefighters to only work 8 hour shifts, bring a bag lunch?  You don't think it is right that the watch TV during their down time.  Don't you realize that they need a break from reality?  A moment to step away from what they witnessed on their last call?   
Jason Pickering, 34, holds a sign Monday in downtown Gary that reads
 "Laid off Gary firefighter. Family of six.
Thank you and God bless."  (Kyle telechan/The Times)

My husband on his last shift, had 11 calls by the time he called me at 9:45pm.  We got 5 minutes into our phone call and the tones went off.  He told me he stopped counting at 16 calls.  Tell me again how lazy firefighters are.

Tina Clarke, thank you.  You said it so much nicer than I would have.  You are getting the conversation started.  Hopefully the people in your town are listening.

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