Archive for the ‘Firefighters’ Category

a Hero’s prayer

Posted: September 12, 2011 in death, Firefighters, medical, Poem, poetry
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dedicated to the heroes of 9/11

 

Brother when you weep for me
Remember that it was meant to be
Lay me down and when you leave
Remember I’ll be at your sleeve

In every dark and dreary night
I’ll be there as you fight
On every road in driving snow
I’ll hold your coat and you will know

On blackened highways hot with searing heat
At windows where a gate you meet
In darkness where young children hide
You know I’ll be there at your side

The House from which I now respond
Is over staffed with heroes gone
Men who answered one last bell
Did the job and did it well

As Medics we understand
That death’s a card dealt in our hand
A card we hope we never play
But one we hold there anyway

That card is something we ignore
As we push beyond our limits for one call more
For we know that we’re the only prayer
For anyone that might be there

So remember as you wipe your tears
The joy I knew throughout the years
As I did the job I loved to do
I pray that thought will see you through.

Author unknown

 

… are upon us…..well….ME!

Since starting studying, I have worked operationally for 17 years in various roles. I’ve been a paramedic, a Station Officer, an Instructor and course coordinator, a Flight paramedic on helicopters and airplanes, a manager at different private ambulance services and thinking back, I’ve had the privilege of responding at high speeds on the roads in Johannesburg, free state and Durban in  a wide variety of cars.

Ford sierra , opel kadetts, mazda 6, ford telstar, ford mondeo, Toyota camry, audi A4, BMW 328, Golf GTI, Jetta TDI, Toyota RXI, RunX, Colt rodeo, Subaru WRX, Subaru Legacy….hmmm, I could go on, those are the memorable ones.

I have been the the most fortunate person saving many a childs life, seeing the joy in parents eyes when they realise their precious creation has lived through a tragedy.

I have been the unfortunate person, resuscitating countless children due to parents neglect in the form of drownings, car accidents, firearm accidents and abuse. I cant tell you how many small lifeless bodies I held in my arms, after fighting to keep them alive, with tears rolling down my cheeks.

I have delivered many a baby, in shacks, in mansions, in the open veld and inside cars.

I have broken the news to wives that their husbands of 50 years have passed on,seeing the sadness when realisation hits them that for the first time in longer than I have been alive, they are alone now.

I have witnessed the after effects of spousal and child abuse, I have comforted small children after their mommy have been killed by their abusive daddy. I have treated hundreds of gunshot victims, under constant gunfire sometimes, assaults, stabbings, burns…. I’ve seen the savagery of the human race, torture, rape, and other atrocities i’d prefer to forget.

I have responded to thousands of motor vehicle accidents, cut up countless cars,

 

 

 

 

 

 

                                                                                                      witnessed the luckiest people surviving spectacular crashes

                                                                                                                                            seen cars in trees

                                                                                                                            cars in precarious positions

                                                                                                                                      Truck accidents

                                                                                                                       rubbish trucks rolling into gardens

                                                                                                                                Bus and train accidents

                                                                                                           mountain rescues (I even broke my wrist on this one)

                                                                                                                                      even ship rescues

Basically, I have seen every atrocity, experienced sadness and grief, witnessed the worst you can imagine…..

BUT

I have been the most fortunate person around. I have been in a profession that values life, working alongside heroes, men and women who dedicate their lives, their family time to help others, regardless of the pain they experience. And now, its time to hand over the reigns to the younger generation.

its time for me to pack my jumpbag away, hang up the rescue jacket.

I salute all the paramedics, Firefighters, Police officers, and all those involved in the Emergency Services still out there. You guys are doing a fabulous, rewarding job (even though it doesn’t feel like it).

A subject everyone avoids, and no-one like talking about, and especially be effected by it…But… Inevitable.

Yesterday was a particularly difficult day, as a friend and colleague was laid to rest.

And a Fireman’s funeral is particularly emotional.

I dedicate this poem…to Stan the Man!

Fireman’s Prayer

When I am called to duty, God…
Where ever flames may rage…
Give me the strength to save some life…
Whatever be its age…
Help me embrace a little child…
Before it is to late…
Or save an older person from…
The horror of that fate…
Enable me to be alert…
And hear the weakest shout…
And quickly and efficiently to put the fire out…
I want to fill my calling and…
To give the best in me…
To guard my every neighbor and protect his property…
And if according to your will…
I have to give my life…
Please bless with your protecting hand…
MY CHILDREN AND MY WIFE

The fire burns hot!

Posted: May 1, 2011 in Firefighters, medical
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last night I responded to Battery factory that was on fire on the east rand of Johannesburg. When we arrived, it was in one section, and spread rapidly to the rest, completely gutting the entire factory and warehouse.

unfortunately, I didnt have my camera with me, but a  colleague did. Not a photographer himself, he gave me the camera to snap away, and snap away I did, after getting  a crash course on the camera. I use a Nikon, and this was with a Kodak.

Siegfried (Stan) Grundlingh was one of those firefighters that never gave up, and NEVER left a man behind.

A true Fireman, a great friend, one that I had the pleasure of working with whilst stationed at Benoni Fire and Emergency services. We worked and partied hard together…

Yesterday, the fire-bell rang for the last time for him, and he died tragically in Abu Dhabi in a motor vehicle accident.

Goodbye old friend. You will be missed by all!

The fireman

Hey mom!” He yelled from the attic door,

“What’s these old heavy boots and hard hat for?”

With a lump in her throat and a tear stained cheek

His mother swallowed and started to speak.

“Come here my son,” his mother said,

“There’s things to tell when I clear my head.”

The past races madly through her mind.

She searched her heart for the words to find.

At last she sighed and rubbed his hair

And the words that followed I’d like to share.

“Those boots & hat,” She said with pride,

“Were worn by a man with grit inside.

He wore them to help people in need.

Though facing danger would never concede.

Many a time in the dead of night

He jumped in those boots and flashed out of sight

To answer a call, not knowing for sure

What danger or heartache he may have to endure.

Your father, my son, was not like most dads,

It was mainly because of the job he had.

His life was devoted to all of mankind,

Just why he chose it’s not clear in my mind.

I’ve often regretted the life that we led,

When every third night I was alone in our bed.

But your mother is proud to say she was part

Of a man who possessed such a courageous heart.

So the memories I’ve kept & the love I will save

Are small consolations for the life that he gave.

Yet, for all his discomfort & all of his pain

The time that he spent here was never in vain.”

I know full well these words to be true,

And not one word did she misconstrue.

But from all my mother shared that day

It’s these last few words I’d like to convey.

My mother, with tears, save a long loving sigh,

And I knew what would follow was not meant to die.

With a smile so warm & a voice very weak,

She kissed my young brow & started to speak.

“Your father’s days here made others seem brighter.

For your father, my son, was a firefighter.

This poem was taken from the bulletin board at Engine 50 CFD. The author is unknown