So I was going to bed and I just wanted to look over the stats for Firehouse Zen. You know, you all aren’t a really talkative bunch, so I do look over the numbers from time to time to see if I am reaching anyone (and maybe by looking at which pages are more popular, figure out what you all are interested in hearing me ramble on about). Of course, I have a lot of fellow firefighters and EMTs from all over surfing in from Firefighter Nation (which if you haven't come in that way, and don't know about it, go check it out, as there's a lot on there for everyone). Some of you have come in from my Twitter or my Facebook pages.
The other night I was finishing up writing an exhaustive after-action report on a multi-company incident for our department. Our jurisdiction is built on a very eco-friendly philosophy (read: no trees were harmed in the building of this town) and so there is an acceptable amount of natural fuel around to burn. But really, other than some of the forest preserves and parks, we don't have any of those areas together in one heap and unbroken by a fire break (golf course), so you should keep in mind that “big brush fire” in our jurisdiction is really defined by the number of angry phone calls for smoke smells. Anyway, I digress.
The acquaintances I have made with blogging, however, are great. There’s a lot of you coming in from Dave Statter’s site and of course from Firegeezer. There is some action coming over from my friend and colleague Tom at Prehospital 12-Lead ECG Blogspot, some hits coming over from The Kitchen Table.
But the really amazing thing (which just REALLY amazes me, if you can’t tell), is some of the places you all come from, and I wonder, just how amazing (there, I used it again) the Internet is, that someone on Hilton Head Island, SC, USA can reach out and talk to someone in Turkey and in Argentina.
Of course there are plenty of hits from North America and the Caribbean, as Canada and Mexico also have been checking in as well as the Bahamas and Jamaica. And having actually traveled to Australiaon a work study, I met lots of firies over there as well and I have communicated before with some in New Zealand, especially through my US&R stuff. I've got people logging in from the UK, France, Italy, Israel, and Portugal. But having never been to Africa, and knowing that I am reaching people in places like Kenya, Angola (that's probably my friend Mike), Nigeria, and Algeria is unbelievable to me. And then there are those of you in Slovakia, Qatar, and Japan, places I never would have thought I would meet someone from.
I am so impressed mostly because I deeply desire the opportunity to learn from each of you what your fire and EMS is like, and about how you do things and how you see things. I'm one of these people who, when they go to a foreign country, like to go to "where the locals go" and do the things the locals like to do (with the exception of eating sheep's eyeballs or something). I am just in awe of some of the local fire service traditions like those my buddy over at Planet Rescue have shared with me (he's in Belgium).
We all do the same job and we all get up in the morning to deal with the same issues and as such, we are all in this together. We all have to get up to go to alarms in the middle of the night and we all have to deal with the sick and injured. We all share so much more than that which separates us, and we should embrace those similarities and our differences and learn about each other.