Being prepared and trained for an emergency can make the difference between life and death.
Most of us see a bright red fire extinguisher in the corner of the office or when walking through the halls of our children's school. Be truthful, have you noticed the tag with large block style letters? Wiped off the dust that accumulated on the top? Ever take one off it's wall mount to see how
heavy it is? Do you know how to open and use a fire extinguisher or first aid kit in an emergency?
An emergency usually doesn't include getting out the reading glasses and following microscopic directions on a label.
Emergencies constitute rapid response time; in an instant one must make an efficient, calm and direct action in time of crisis.
When it comes to fires we are taught to yell "Fire" and call 911, to run or crawl OUT of a burning building, NOT into one; that's what firemen are for.
Having civil service workers ready and available in time of need seems almost taken for granted within the United States. Help is but a phone call away.
The selfless acts of 'first responders' during the September 11th bombing of the World Trade Center was in the media and on our television screens for all the world to see days and weeks after the tragedy. With the public showing of step by step decisions those men made to
give their lives in the attempt to save strangers our nation gained a new appreciation and mourned a great loss.
Did you know?
- Under staffing within the fire department and the loss of life saving equipment has become prevalent since the collapse of the towers in 2001.
"It shocks me to this day that even after 911, they've shut down firehouses in New York and took away what would save peoples lives."Stoughton firefighter, Lt. Jim Campbell and VP of Local 1512. "It is my passion to increase the staffing and make people aware of the issues in
Stoughton. Insufficient staffing has always been an issue here.... people in the town need to be aware of this..it is an issue not only here in Stoughton...but also across the country."
Lt.Campbell an eighteen year veteran is now advocating for change at the state level after a renewal of bereavement benefits were silently deposed to the tune of $200,000. Jim is also hoping to create public awareness before another in the line of duty death.
January 28th was the 18th anniversary of 23 year career firefighter of Stoughton, Victor Melendy's LODD. For his brother firefighters it is still very much a day of sadness with thirty fire fighters attending his memorial this year.
The brotherhood of men who serve the community in time of fire and emergency have confidence while battling a blaze from within or without. They become a highly trained efficient team; their apparatus needs to be complete and functioning.
If cut backs within the system are not monitored, and the community is not made aware; Black Sunday could be repeated.
- Two firefighters lost their lives that day another four injured in New York city. Due to the recall of their tow ropes normally included in their 'uniform' preventing their ability for a safe repel from the fourth floor of a building in the Bronx, NY
- While in Brooklyn, NY another died trapped in a stairwell. These men were well aware of the dangers their job entailed with proper equipment. It is inhumane to ask the brothers of these now lost men to enter buildings not readily equipped.
The ramifications of this is not just at the local or state level, in Detroit, the city of Taylor shut down 2 of 3 fire stations doubling the response time and putting their citizens in danger.
Up and Coming Event
February 2nd the American Lung Association in cooperation with Boston Place hosts the "Fight for Air Climb."
Fire fighter Lt. Campbell, has been enrolling in the "Fight for Air Climb" after the death of both his parents to lung cancer. Lt.Campbell can be sponsored here. "Please either join me and register for the climb or make a generous donation to the American Lung Association to support our FIGHT FOR AIR." Jim stated on his personal page at ALA's Fight for Air Climb. Please consider making a pledge.
" I do the climb for those that can not...in hopes of helping and finding a cure for lung disease." Lt. Campbell
There is more to being a civil servant then being on the clock for their towns and city emergencies. Most continue to help support their community on their off hours. It becomes a way of life to put their neighbors and family first and foremost.
- Firefighters volunteer to travel in support of their fallen brothers, in the Tunnel to Tower run each year.
- "Stoughton Local 1512 sends a contingency of men every five years to the memorial in Colorado Springs for those killed in the line of duty." J. Campbell confided.
Fire fighters on a national level have critical battles to face apart from their job descriptions. Be it layoffs, pensions, or cut benefits these men report to the station, willing to face adversity and help their fellow neighbor.
When asked, at the memorial of their fallen brother V.Melendy, "Why?"
Acting Deputy Chief Greg Goldberg of Stoughton’s Fire Station One stated, "It is a calling." and cited the Fireman's prayer as a true testimony of what their job means to him.
Hopefully this article will give back to the local community a desire to help the men who serve it.