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At various times during our careers, we all are asked, "Why do you choose to be firefighters?" The answers you may receive are as numerous as the stars in the sky. However, there is one explanation that any firefighter will confirm with a modest smile and a nod.

We've watched the faces of family members light up with delight, as a rescued pet is produced from beneath our coat.
We've also seen the anguish, as they survey the results of the ravages of fire upon their cherished belongings.

We've been caught up in the excitement of the children, as we help them climb aboard the engines, laughing at the sight of them trying on the coat and boots that are a sign of our trade.
We've also experienced the anger and frustration of having to carry them from smoldering buildings, wondering what they may have become, and may have accomplished.

We've had arms wrapped around us, expressions of gratitude for having been there when needed.
We've wrapped our arms around victims, shielding them beneath our coats, as the twisted remains of their vehicle are pried away.

We have felt the fear of those we serve, as we do our best to remove them from harms way.
We have felt our own fear, as we venture into harms way, to rescue those we serve.

We share a sense of pride and accomplishment among all members for those we are able to save, because they are our neighbors.
We share in the sorrow for those we are unable to save, because they are our neighbors.

We choose to be firefighters, because you are our neighbor. This is not merely a job we perform, this is what we believe in.

Firefighting is not just a profession, it is a way of life.

Michael Wade Newberry

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