Not to sound like a Grinch, but here’s what I learned about firefighting and the holidays: Fire doesn’t care what the calendar says. Nor does the Grim Reaper. Life (and death) goes on.
The problem is that all the tinsel and glitz of this time of year only exacerbates feelings of sadness and loss when something bad happens. House fires. Car wrecks. Deaths. These things happen every day, but they all seem so much worse when they happen during the holidays.
That’s probably why many firefighters I know tend to head the other direction. They collect toys for children in need, visit sick kids at the hospital, “adopt” less fortunate families, decorate apparatus and stations, drive Santa around town on the fire engine, and bring their families to the firehouse for Christmas dinner. These are the bright spots, the sanity keepers in what can often be a chaotic and emotional season.
Perhaps I’m a little biased, but firefighters as a whole are good people, and they do good things on duty and off. Happy holidays to all of them, and to the law enforcement, EMS personnel, and military who spend the holidays away from their families so that we can enjoy the time with ours.