An Open Letter To The Fire Fighters
Dear Fire Fighters,
I’m worried about tomorrow.
It frightens me when the emergency services are on strike because it disrupts the little bubble of presumed safety that I and everyone else like me live within. If I hurt myself then someone will help me; if someone hurts me then they will be caught and if my house is on fire, if my car is in an accident or even if my cat gets stuck up a tree, someone will come to my rescue. That’s how we live, my safety is your job. Tomorrow for a few hours, you’re not going to work.
Despite this I am 100% behind you. If someone is to make rules about how the fire service operates and how long fire fighters work, I want it to be someone who knows a thing or two about that work and not someone who sits at a desk. Personally I think it’s terrible that it’s come to this at all and can’t imagine how conflicted you must feel. You’re essentially risking public safety, to protest against and prevent reforms….that will risk public safety. It’s horrid that you’re having to choose what you feel will be less risky and worrying that this is it!
You have to be clever, brave and physically fit to do your job. I’m not suggesting that an older firefighter would not be all of these things but it’s not that simple. The average kit carried by a firefighter might weigh in the region of 45 kilos, add to that the weight of a person who may need to be carried out of a burning, unstable building. I don’t know many people in their fifties (and even sixties) who could lift that, in those conditions? You think it’s wrong and that it risks public safety and I agree. If my house was on fire, I know who I would want to be running in there to rescue me and my family.
The thought must be there somewhere, every time your alarm goes off, that this might be your last call….but you answer it anyway. You see horrible things and then you go home and do the dishes and feed the cat, like everyone else. I can’t begin to tell you how much I respect you. Not only does your stance make sense to me, but I think it’s a bit daft to argue with a group of men and women who run into burning buildings for a living and can lift a grown man above their head!!
I’m worried about tomorrow, but not just because you’re on strike. I’m worried that you may not get what you want from this strike action. I think you know that most people are behind you and that everyone is grateful for what you do every day, but it’s high time you were listened to.
From me, from my husband and from my daughter, thank you. Thank you so much for running in, when everyone else runs out.
All good wishes