Over the past few weeks temperatures have soared in neighbouring regions, thankfully not near our home. My next door neighbour described the devastation he suffered when his family home was destroyed in wildfires last year. Everything, except the clothes they were wearing, a few documents and the family pets were rescued.
No-one was hurt but the mementos that were lost cannot be replaced, baby photos, heirlooms passed from generation to generation and everyday belongings were gone- in an instant!
My aunt and her family returned after a wildfire in their town to find the garden destroyed and the reek of smoke in every room. Thankfully, no-one was hurt this year, although several fire-fighters were treated for burns and smoke inhalation.
Everyday, emergency volunteers put their own lives and families on hold while they go out to protect and rescue others in need.
Sometimes. we can get swept up in the glorification of the role as portrayed in the TV shows so I wondered what qualities a person on the front line of response needs?
On the FireRecruit.com website I found these specifications:
- They are trustworthy, an upstanding citizen in a community ready to be called out a moment's notice
- They are physically fit, keep in shape and strong
- They are calm in the face of crisis and can communicate to reassure those they help, showing tolerance of different personalities.
- They need to handle stress and be adaptable to every situation.
- They are committed and dedicated to the work they do. They are a team member whose role is essential to the success of the task ahead.
- They are willing to sacrifice their time and leisure with family to provide protection to strangers in times of crisis and need.
As I read down this list of character traits, I realise that the first emergency responders are a special type of person, generous of their time, totally committed to perform their duties whenever required, willing to sacrifice family and personal pursuits to protect the lives of ordinary citizens like you and I.
A sobering reflection on how I currently contribute to society and what little sacrifices I make.
Today, I am grateful for all the people who step up every day to protect me through crisis with no expectation other than to know that they may have rescued a family from harm during a crisis.
Who are you grateful for today?