Every Monday Matters: Thank a firefighter
By Matthew Emerzian and Kelly Bozza
http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | (MCT) There are more than 1,100,000 firefighters in the U.S.
73 percent of firefighters are volunteers, with 66 percent or more of fire departments staffed 100 percent by volunteers.
More than 100 firefighters die in the line of duty each year.
1.5 million or more fires are reported annually.
Fire kills more Americans than all natural disasters combined - more than 4,000 deaths annually.
The U.S. has one of the highest rates of death due to fire in the industrialized world.
TAKE ACTION TODAY
1. When you see firefighters in uniform, walk up and thank them for keeping you and your community safe.
2. Get out of the way: pull your car to the right when you hear a siren or see a fire truck with its lights on.
3. Organize your friends, co-workers, neighborhood, or child's class to create and deliver a thank-you card to your local fire station.
4. Develop a fire escape plan for your home.
5. Donate to firefighter benefits and causes.
6. Minimize your risk of fires - install smoke detectors, keep a fire extinguisher in your kitchen, don't overload power plugs, clear brush from around your house, and don't flick your cigarette butts.
Every day firefighters put their lives on the line to save people and property. Many of these firefighters are volunteers, so let's "pay" them by showing our appreciation, thanking them for the valuable service they provide, and letting them know that we are very aware of the significant positive impact they have on our communities. Firefighters, whether paid or not, make an incredible difference in our lives - so let's make a difference in theirs.
"Unfortunately, my family has become quite friendly with our local fire department," said Mark Henderson of San Diego, Calif. "Over the past few years our area has been hit badly by fires. At times it honestly felt like we were living in hell and there was no way out, but it never stopped the firefighters from driving right into the middle of it. Their courage is uncanny."
Firefighters are kind of like the dentist ... you really don't want to ever have to see them and certainly not get to know them. But maybe we should, for these men and women put themselves in harm's way for us.
"Last year, we lost every single house on our court except for ours. I literally stood there hopelessly and watched as the firefighters sprayed water straight up in the air to keep the flying embers from hitting our roof," shared Mark. "Somehow, some way, they did it. I still can't believe it."
But that is not the coolest part of this story, because, after all, the other 6 houses on Mark's court all burned to the ground (not fault of the firefighters). How could 6 out of 7 houses burned to the ground bring a community together? Well it did.
"Our neighborhood really came together after the fires were gone ... kind of like the firefighters came together to try to help us," said Mark. "We organized a week's worth of dinners for the local station. Since our house was the only house still standing, we let everyone use our kitchen."
So every night, for one week, one of the Henderson's neighboring couples came over to their house and cooked dinner for the firefighters. Then they drove the meal over to the station and served the firefighters as though they were in a restaurant.
"We didn't want them to have to lift a single finger," said Mark. "This was our turn to do the work and show our appreciation."
Not only were the firefighters grateful, but it also gave them the opportunity to express some things to the couples.
"One of the things we learned is that the firefighters felt terrible for not being able to save more homes," shared Mark. "I am so happy we all got the opportunity to tell them how much we appreciated their efforts. Our community was right in the thick of it, and we knew they did the best they could. We have nothing but love for this group of amazing people. They are our friends."
Mark, thank you for making sure these men and women know how much they matter. They will never forget your kind gesture. You Matter.
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