Soul on Fire takes on a different meaning when we think of actual fires that have been going on across the state.
I intended to do a piece on the firemen I met at Station #7 in Oceanside after a firehouse dinner I shared with several of them for a fundraiser I attended.
They are earth angels. Their souls are on fire with passion and dedication to be in service in such a paramount way.
But have you ever wondered what really inspires someone to become a firefighter? Nothing but a soul on fire.
While it was all fun and games having several firemen cook a delicious meal for me and some gal pals, the reality of the job’s importance came glaring when there was a three-alarm right in the middle of dinner.
Without a blink of an eye, the men pushed off the table to run to the garage and change into their gear. They jumped into the truck and, poof! they were gone.
We stood in amazement, never having witnessed such action up close and personal. Some prayers left our lips, and concern quickly shadowed the fun we were having.
This goes on day and night. How many interrupted meals must they experience?
When they came back after arriving at the scene of a severe car crash with injury, they picked right back up where they left off, not seeming to mind the interruption.
How do you even show respect and regard for this service that so many of us take for granted?
Take for granted until there is a fire season upon us, such as is currently occurring in most of Northern California and surrounding states.
We complain of smoke-filled skies. These men and women are in it. In the blistering heat combined with raging fire and winds.
I remember when I had my house down in Baja, and fires were threatening my neighborhood.
The Bomberos, as they are called down there, would be airlifted in with only shovels. They would dig a trench to try to stop the flames.
I looked out in amazement to see a row of brave men and women digging the hardened summer dirt, trying to beseech the unpredictable firestorm that threatened lives and whole communities.
People are risking their lives to save property, animals, and others’ lives.
Heroes. Every one of them.
We are so blessed to have the resources we do here in the States. Some people criticized the new fire station and the cost to the taxpayers.
Well, what I learned was startling in terms of how old the stations are, some dating back to the ’30s with very few modern amenities.
When you think that these guys spend weeks and sometimes months at the station away from their families, you will see what sacrifices they make for every citizen if you really stop to consider.
You’ll be knitting blankets for them in no time. Let them have decent living accommodations while they are on call to all of us. It’s much more than rescuing a kitten from a tree. These people are the salt of the earth. It was an honor to be in their company.
I asked them what we could do for them.
What would cheer them up when they are on call for weeks at the station?
What do they need? A special food? A gift card? I was deeply touched to hear them say that they would love it if people would stop by with their kids.
They love to give tours of the trucks and the station, many of them missing their own children far away in some cases.
Please don’t wait for fire season to appreciate these men and women.
They sacrifice so much for us all. And they wouldn’t have it any other way.
Keep them in your prayers. Stop by and give them some love and bring the kiddos. Hopefully, something will spark in their souls, and they may become inspired to become a firefighter when they grow up.
A noble calling, to be sure.