The first ever organized group of firefighters in North America was founded in 1678, and since then, firefighters have been saving thousands of lives every year. They’re some of the most unsung heroes.
In Canada, there are more than 10 million square kilometers of forest, and our towns, homes, and businesses are nestled near and in those forests. Forest firefighters put themselves on the front lines of fires that threaten our homes and our lives. This is why these men and women are heroes:
They face danger head on
Whether they impact an urban environment or a forest, fires are dangerous and difficult to control. Even so, forest firefighters are dedicated to keeping these fires away from human settlements and responding to medical emergencies that arise.
Firefighters are often the first to respond to any emergency and the last to leave. The shifts are long, the pay isn’t always great, but the call of duty is their greatest driver.
The work is tiring but they don’t give up
Fire doesn’t sleep, and when fires are raging neither do our firefighters. On average, firefighters work a 24 hour shift around ten times every month and don’t get to take holidays off. In fact, major holidays like Christmas and Thanksgiving see an increase in housefires.
So the next time you find yourself enjoying a big holiday dinner or keeping warm by the yule log, remember the first responders who are working to save lives.
They inspire other
People who choose brave professions are inspiring, and rightly so. First responders in general don’t just inspire young men and women to take up the cause themselves, but to do whatever they can to have a positive impact on their communities and their world. Not everyone can be a firefighter, but everyone can do something to make the world a safer place to live.
Their knowledge goes way beyond just putting out fires
Firefighters don’t just show up and put out fires. They’re also tasked with the responsibility of determining the origins of the fire. They’re trained to assess what flammable elements may have caused the fire, if they were accidental or naturally caused, and help the law prosecute those who commit arson. Understanding the starting point of a fire and how it started is critical to putting it out and preventing fires like it in the future.
They’re prepared to give up their lives to protect you
What makes firefighters heroes above all is their willingness to sacrifice everything to save others. Fires are truly dangerous. Many times they are caused completely accidentally, and even though a fire can be predictable in behavior, they can still be difficult to escape. Firefighters are trained to help you escape hairy situations, and sometimes they pay the ultimate price for it.