Last week, 19 members of an elite, Arizona-based firefighting-team, lost their lives battling a lightning-sparked-wildfire, caught in what's termed, a "burn-over," caused when the wind, and with it, the flames, abruptly shift, in this case, suddenly engulfing them, cutting off their escape route. A stunning tragedy, not only in loss of life for those highly-skilled firefighters, but because so many left wives and young families behind. Understandably, children have always been fascinated by those gleaming fire trucks, speeding out of the neighborhood fire-house, sirens blaring, with the obligatory Dalmatian perched on top. In the grown-up world, being a firefighter isn't that childhood fantasy, but the stark-reality of an extremely demanding and dangerous profession. Whether full-time or volunteer, it's the firefighters who put life and limb on-the-line to save property and people, whenever called, no matter the weather, time-of-day, or degree-of-risk. They are the ones who race into burning structures, when those inside are racing to get out! Starkest case-in-point, the over 300 firefighter-fatalities following their heroic World Trade Center efforts, after the appalling 9/11 Attack-on-America, by despicable, murdering Islamic radicals.
Closer to home, from Savannah to Statesboro, Bluffton to Brunswick, multiple-communities, within and around, we're so blessed to have, ever-at-the-ready, highly-trained firefighters, brave men and women who, like their law-enforcement and military brethren, devote their skills, and their lives, to our protection. America's National Firefighter Appreciation Day occurs in October during Fire Prevention Week. No need to hold your appreciation until then. Anytime is the right time to say thanks to the men and women of our Georgia/South Carolina firefighting teams, who make, and live, that profound calling and commitment to preserve our property, and, no matter the danger, brave death-dealing flames to rescue us.