July 1, 2012 2 Comments
[Update: since posting this I have learned that many firefighters are given no health insurance because they are considered part-time employees. I find this indefensible and profoundly dishonorable. They should be given health care coverage that is at least as good as our military. There is an online petition at Daily Kos that ought to be given overwhelming bipartisan support. The headline specifies Colorado firefighters, but the petition itself is for the benefit of firefighters everywhere. Please join me in signing this petition, and sharing it with all your friends. Thank you.]
If the story of climate change is written, firefighters will be among the greatest heroes.
I can’t say enough about the firefighters who have been dealing with these wildfires in New Mexico, Colorado, Utah, and floods elsewhere. The conditions that these men and women work in are brutal, the hours inhumanly long, the stakes life-or-death, and their dedication Olympian. I wonder what we can possibly do to show our gratitude. Here are some suggestions. Please add your own, and if you know of any charities or foundations benefitting firefighters – whether those who fight fores fires or those who fight urban fires year-round – please list them in the comments.
1) Tax amnesty: property tax, income tax, SSI – all of it. Every year these people fight fires, they pay no taxes.
2) A week’s paid vacation somewhere cool.
3) Ticker tape parades as a matter of course in the capitals of every state in which they fought fires, and in the towns where they saved homes. (They probably cringe at the thought of this. Heroes in the face of flaming, smokey death; wusses when it comes to subjecting themselves to public acclaim.)
4) Free job placement services in the off-season (if there is one again) or when they retire from firefighting.
5) College fund for their children.
6) ? What do you think?
And now, a little visual inspiration.
I will be adding more photos to this post as I come across them. (I have picked almost all of these off of Facebook, and I do not know their provenance. If you do, please let me know, as I would be eager to attribute credit. Thanks.)