Look At the Pictures
Take a look at the pictures that accompany this article. Make it a long look. Let those pictures sink in.
My driver and I were standing about five feet from the rear bumper of this engine company when that driver plowed into us. I’ve heard bombs go off before… this sounded like a bomb going off. Our apparatus was stopped and in “park”, but you can see from the hose that the engine was knocked several feet forward.
The Driver Was Drunk and Hit Our Engine Going 80 MPH
We were responding to a medical call on the interstate highway. It was nighttime and our emergency beacons were on. We had cones out. But none of that mattered. The driver was drunk, and he hit us going nearly eighty miles per hour. He never even hit the brakes.
We Can Do Everything Right & Still Die
That was as close a call as I’ve ever had. That night was simply not our night to die.
We can do everything right, and STILL get clobbered by a drunk driver. We can STILL get hit by a falling beam. We can STILL get swept away by swift water. Ours is a noble profession, but it remains a dangerous profession, and we need to be ready to meet our Maker.
Preparing ourselves spiritually and mentally for our own potential demise is something many of us have done. We’ve recognized our calling to this work, and if we pay the ultimate price, well, so be it. We died doing what we love.
Let’s Be Prepared
But preparing ourselves practically is something that often goes neglected. We need to put together final instructions including wills and appropriate powers-of-attorney. And yes, this applies even to young, single members. Our departments must have in-place the procedures and personnel to make notifications in the event of a line-of-duty death.
Ask anyone who’s served as an estate executor (as I have) how important this is. It’s tough enough to handle an estate even with all the estate-planning complete. We don’t want to have to put someone – our families – through that process without those documents already complete.
Have A Will and Estate Plan
Estate-planning is not expensive and it’s important for us to have a will and a living will and other items in place especially as firefighters.
I am not here to give advice on what you need to get, by I am encouraging you to make it a point this week to get the process started and give yourself a 30 day deadline to get it completed.
Get a referral to an attorney, ask some other firefighters/officers if they have someone they recommend.
Maybe you can get an attorney to come to your department for a “heroes” night for a reduced price, or even free. Ask them to meet with your shift or crew and tell you all about it.
If you haven’t already done so I ask you to take care of this right now. Do it for your loved ones. Tonight may be too late.