I wish you could see

I wish you could see the sadness of a business man as his livelihood goes up in flames
or that family returning home,
only to find their house and belongings damaged or destroyed.
I wish you could know what it is to search a burning bedroom for trapped children,
flames rolling above your head,
your palms and knees burning as you crawl,
the floor sagging under your weight
as the kitchen beneath you burns.

I wish you could comprehend a wife’s horror at 3A.M.
as I check her husband of forty years
for a pulse and find none.
I start CPR anyway,
hoping against hope to bring him back,
knowing intuitively it is too late.
But wanting his wife and family to know
everything possible was done.

I wish you could know the unique smell of burning insulation,
the taste of soot-filled mucus,
the feeling of intense heat through your turnout gear,
the sound of flames crackling,
and the eeriness of being able to see absolutely nothing in dense smoke.

I wish you could understand
how it feels to go to school in the morning
after having spent most of the night,
hot and soaking wet at a multiple alarm fire.

I wish you could read my mind
as I respond to a building fire,
‘Is this a false alarm or a working, breathing fire?
How is the building constucted?
What hazards await me?
Is anyone trapped?’
or to an EMS call,
‘What is wrong with the patient?
Is it minor or life-threatening?
Is the caller really in distress
or is he waiting for us with a 2×4 or a gun?’

I wish you could be in the emergency room
as the doctor pronounces dead
the beautiful little five-year old girl
that I have been trying to save
during the past twenty-five minutes,
who will never go on her first date
or say the words,
“I love you Mommy!”, again.

I wish you could know the frustration I feel
in the cab of the engine,
the driver with his foot pressing down hard on the pedal,
my arm tugging again and again
at the air horn chain,
as you fail to yield right-of-way at an intersection or in traffic.
When you need us, however,
your first comment upon our arrival will be,
“It took you foverer to get here!”

I wish you could read my thoughts
as I help extricate a girl of teenage years
from the mangled remains of her automobile,
‘What if this were my sister, girlfriend, or a friend?
What were her parents’ reactions going to be
as they open the door
to find a police officer,
HAT IN HAND?’

I wish you could know how it feels
to walk in the back door and greet my parents and family,
not having the heart to tell them
that you nearly did not come home
from this last call.

I wish you could feel my hurt
as people verbally, and sometimes physically,
abuse or belittle what I do,
or as they express their attitudes of,
“It will never happen to me.”

I wish you could realize
the physical, emotional, and mental drain
of missed meals, lost sleep and forgone social activities,
in addition to all the tragedy my eyes have viewed.

I wish you could know
the brotherhood and self-satisfaction of helping
save a life or preserving someone’s property,
of being there in times of crisis,
or creating order from total CHAOS.

I wish you could understand
what it feels like to have a little boy
tugging on your arm and asking,
“Is my mommy o.k.?”
Not even being able to look in his eyes
without tears falling from your own
and not knowing what to say.
Or to have to hold back a long-time friend
who watches his buddy
having rescue breathing done on him
as they take him away in the ambulance.
You knowing all along
he did not have his seat belt on.

Unless you have lived this kind of life,
you will never truly understand
or appreciate who I am,
or what my job really means to me.

I wish you could see

ToniTiger

Joined July 2009

  • Artist
    Notes
  • Artwork Comments 15

Artist's Description

My friend Mike talking about his job
and what it means to him. Mike also discribes
the sadness he see’s in his line of work evey day. Thanks Mike for letting me put your work up!
be safe Mike and others that are in your line of work!

Artwork Comments

  • anaisnais
  • C J Lewis
  • ToniTiger
  • PapasGirl
  • ToniTiger
  • Andrew  Bailey
  • ToniTiger
  • JaneSolomon
  • ToniTiger
  • Hathor
  • ToniTiger
  • Hathor
  • wigs
  • Alison Pearce
  • ToniTiger
desktop tablet-landscape content-width tablet-portrait workstream-4-across phone-landscape phone-portrait
desktop tablet-landscape content-width tablet-portrait workstream-4-across phone-landscape phone-portrait

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