The Spirit of Brotherhood

Yes, the holiday season is now upon us, with lots of gifting and shopping and egg nog and stuff like that.  We have Black Friday waffle iron riots, we have camping on sidewalks to get the best deals at Best Buy, and we have court fights over the presence of various religious displays.  It is what I call the "Lost Season", when everyone has scheduled holiday and vacation leave and nobody ever seems to be in their office, in anyplace, anywhere.

In a true interpretation of the season, however, and in keeping with the observation that most of the world's religions have more in common than they have that separate them, we have to remember the real meaning of the season and that reason is to promote peace on earth and goodwill to mankind.  That we should be celebrating our family and our friends and we should be reminding those individuals how much they mean to us.  

This season, however, we should be reaching out to those less fortunate than we are in a spirit of brotherhood, especially when we call the fire service a brotherhood, and especially when times are hard everywhere.  There are many ways to do this and each of you should find your own way to express this shared bond.  I am positive there are departments we all know of that can use a helping hand right now.  Not every community is as blessed as some of us, not just with equipment or apparatus, but in the wealth of knowledge some of you can bring to teach others about how to do the job a little more efficiently and a little safer.

I have been informally discussing ways to help our brother and sister firefighters in places like Nepal, where disaster could strike at any moment and the infrastructure is so poor that it would only magnify the devastation.  A brother firefighter from Belgium has actually been over there and along with others, have been instrumental in bringing updated equipment and apparatus to these folks.  Ironically, we are talking about '70's and '80's era equipment as being "updated".  Some of the apparatus is older than I am.  This cause is using a power of social media to promote interest, at this site called Fire AID.

There is no doubt, especially with the destruction Sandy brought a few weeks ago, that we have departments in our midst that could use help.  I strongly encourage you all to find ways to do this.  But on a grander scale, the things we can't use anymore here in our own country because of technology changes, regulatory compliance, or any other number of reasons, would be an amazing gift to departments in Central and South America, Asia, and Africa, among many other places.

So all of you who believe in the spirit of the fire service and that we are all truly "brothers" need to think of ways to help others.  This is the perfect time to start working in that direction.  It can be done through any number of means, and even the lowest rookie among us has the potential to do amazing things for others.  I said it on Thanksgiving: if you have a roof over your head, electricity for powering your computer, or a warm place to read this from, you are doing better than a large number of the world's population.  Express your gratitude for being given the opportunities and resources to do this job by sharing them with people who are just like you, but not quite as lucky.

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Michael "Mick" Mayers

Deputy Fire Chief - Operations Division for Hilton Head Island (SC) Fire Rescue and an Emergency Response Coordinator with the United States Department of Health and Human Services  National Disaster Medical System Incident Response Coordination Team.

FE Talk: Humpday Hangout

Comments
Barbara Lander Burger
The Annapolis Mansion Fire, Investigating, and of course, The Haters
You know sometimes asking questions is a good thing. Sometimes wrong is committed and people try to cover it up. Thank Heaven for the skeptics, the questioners. As sad as the situation is, it would be worse if someone has done something terrible and then gets away with it. Since when is it a problem…
2015-01-27 22:26:00
Dee
The Annapolis Mansion Fire, Investigating, and of course, The Haters
Well said. The general public has no idea of all the hard work involved. What a difficult task this has to have been for all involved. Prayers for all, especially the family.
2015-01-27 04:06:00
Frank S. Brewer Jr.
The Annapolis Mansion Fire, Investigating, and of course, The Haters
Well put Mick. After 44 years in Fire/Rescue/EMS I am always amazed at the civilians telling me how it should be done. Fire investigation is hard work and never rewarding, having worked for a private fire investigator, who died due to exposure to the scene environments, the satisfaction you get is finding cause after that…
2015-01-25 15:55:00
Mick Mayers
Someone I Would Have Liked To Have Known
Ruth, Thanks for the comment, although like Tom said, you missed my point. What I was saying is that I am honored and impressed that someone who not so long ago would not have been given a chance - for reasons of race and gender- was given those accolades. She is someone I would have…
2014-12-12 11:24:00
Tom Bouthillet
Someone I Would Have Liked To Have Known
There are plenty of white males who don't deserve to be firefighters. The most qualified individual should get the job regardless of race or gender. That doesn't always happen for a variety of reasons that don't need to be hashed out here. But way to miss Chief Mayers' point entirely.
2014-12-11 12:08:00

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Although I am affiliated or employed by certain entities, I in no way speak in this forum or others on behalf of those entities unless I have specifically stated such. Any implication otherwise is doing so contrary to my agreements with those entities. The result is that the observations and opinions by myself or on behalf of Firehouse Zen are not sanctioned by any other entity other than Graffiti Train Sherpa Publications and are protected by the copyright laws of the United States of America.

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