April 29, 2014

“Service is the ultimate smile.”

Heroism isn’t in making a big thing of ourselves, but in service.

12 Photos of Everyday Heroism.


Okay, I’m going out to get new smoke alarms right now. How many do I need for a two story house with, say, 12 rooms?
Useful, enlightening comment via Reddit.

As someone who works in Wildland Fire Prevention and works closely with Firefighters, let me tell you the best way to thank these guys. Take time to be prepared for emergencies and work in your communities to help with homelessness, poverty and those with health issues that cannot support themselves. Have smoke alarms, extinguishers, emergency plans, accessible entrance and exits, and do your absolute best to prepare for any possible emergency you or a loved one might potentially encounter.

The pictures you see in this gallery are a highlight reel of what people want to imagine firefighters doing all the time. They do these things, but its a very small percentage of what they do daily. In reality, these guys are responding to medical calls, training, car accidents, dealing with transients, more training and having to respond to fall/disabled senior citizen accidents more than anything else when they work in cities. When wildfires break out, they get exposed to some of the harshest elements, black smoke, fatigue like you wouldn’t imagine and are constantly walking the line between what is reasonably safe and potentially deadly. I read a lot of Green Sheets (injury briefings) from firefighters that are hurt, and a lot of them were preventable if they weren’t forced to put themselves in harms way because of a citizens poor decisions. Firefighters live by being safe, but that starts with you as a homeowner or just a regular person. Firefighters deserve the utmost respect, and I work daily with homeowners to make sure they increase defensible space around their homes to minimize the threat of wildfire to not just their property, but the guys and gals that are going to show up to try and defend it.

A final note for those that live in areas prone to wildfire (especially drought effected areas): This year is going to be a bad year for wildfires. Fuel moisture levels are critical across much of the US and they will continue to drop. Agencies will likely get spread thin, and there might not be any trucks or air resources to defend your home. Now is the time to increase the defensible space around your home and make sure that your structure can survive embers from a wildfire. Remember, a firefighter and their crew will not even bother defending your home in a wildfire unless they feel comfortable staging there. If you have no defensible space the engines will move on to the homes that they have a chance to save.

Photos via Imgur.

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