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Firefighter Poems

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A Fireman's Life
A fireman's life is one big surprise,
Usually he laughs, sometimes he cries.
There's always stress, toil and strife,
Hoping he's good enough to save just one life.

His wife understands, when he misses dinner,
If he runs out of church, don't think he's a sinner.
Answering a call, is tops on his list,
Regretting each one he's ever missed.

He tries and tries, but can't make us see,
The happiest men, still work for free.
Jumping from bed, fighting the cold,
Knowing what to do, without being told.

He rushes to the station, jumps on a truck.
Depending on skill, never on luck.
Putting his life on the line, for an unknown friend,
Hoping and praying, it won't be the end.
"The Bravest Men in the World", the title is fitting,
They all do their best, never come close to quitting.
Next time you see them, all their lights blinking,
Take just a minute, to think what they're thinking.

It's a hard job, so show them you care,
And help them out, with a little prayer.

-- Daniel S. Driscoll. --

A Firefighter's Pledge
I promise concern for others.
A willingness to help all those in need.
Promise courage - courage to face and conquer my fears.
Courage to share and endure the ordeal of those who need me.
I promise strength - strength of heart to bear
whatever burdens might be placed upon me.
Strength of body to deliver to safety
all those placed within my care.
I promise the wisdom to lead,
the compassion to comfort,
and the love to serve unselfishly
whenever I am called.
A Firefighter's Tears
The alarm rang, as it had so many times before.
He was the first of the firefighters up and out,
Awakened from his bed at the station
By the clanging of the bell.
Engine 12 pulled out of the hall,
Dispatch paged another station.
And all the firemen aboard the truck
Were tensed with anticipation
" It's gonna be a nice 'un, boys,"
He said as he donned his gear.
And the young bucks smiled at him
As they drew ever near.
They turned onto his own street
And he could see the fire's work
He hoped their mother woke his kids
To see their dad at work.
His heart sank as he saw the home
That he so dearly loved
Going up in Smoke and Flames
As he donned his gloves.
Aggressively he hit the fire
And searched the rooms above.
And with a flare of personal vengeance
He saved what remained of his home.
As he left the world of flaming hell
He saw his little girl
He ran quickly to her side and said,
"Honey, Daddy's here."
He would never forget what next she said:
As he held her close,
"I love you, Daddy," she whimpered,
And he began to weep.
She died in his arms that night...
The others, later on....
His comrades gave him their respects
but his Family was gone.
He sits alone at the station, now,
There's no more spring in his step.
He stays detached from his fellows
to avoid once again being hurt.
He risks it all in fires, now,
No more concerns for his safety.
He has taken a solemn vow.
He won't let it happen to another,
as long as he's around.
The Last Alarm
My father was a fireman, he drove a big red truck
And when he'd go to work each day he'd say "Mother, wish me luck"
Then dad would not come home again until sometime the next day
But the thing that bothered me the most was the things some folks would say
A fireman's life is easy, he eats and sleeps and plays,
and sometimes he won't fight a fire for many, many days
When I first heard these words I was young to understand
But I knew when people had trouble Dad was there to lend a hand

Then my father went to work one day and kissed us all goodbye
but little did we realize that night we all would cry
My father lost his life that night when the floor gave way below
And I wondered why he'd risked his life for someone he did not know
But now I truly realize the greatest gift a man can give
is to lay his life upon the line so that someone else might live
so as we go from day to day and pray to God above
Say a prayer for your local fireman
He may save the ones you love

A Fire Captain's Prayer
Dear God,
Please guide me in my plight.
Help me think quickly, but safely.
Guild my hand to help those who are seeking knowledge.
Give me the wisdom, to help the injured and the weak.
To help those who have no thrive for life.
Grant me the strength to fight the fire with assertive skill.
And God please grant me the ability to return home, to my family.
And, if in your wisdom I may give my life,
protect them from harm, no matter what the foe.

Just Doing My Job
As I search though the smoke and flames my bell on my air pack goes off
I have five minutes left to search for the 2 year old boy i was sent in to get.
I search and search through the endless room
When suddenly i hear a little voice weeping in the closet.
I head toward the closet calling for my fellow firefighter to come and help.
I open the door and find a little boy sitting in there holding a teddy bear.
I take off my mask and give him the air that I have left
And I put him under my arm and follow the hose back to a window
Where I smash out a window to get help.
The ladder truck swings it ladder toward me.
I finally get to the ground where I am asked if I am a hero.
I say no...just doing my job sir. Then I run back to help fight the fire.

Author: Shane LaFord

Into the Fire
The sky was falling and streaked with blood
I heard you calling me then you disappeared into the dust
Up the stairs, into the fire
I need your kiss, but love and duty called you someplace higher
Somewhere up the stairs, into the fire

May your strength give us strength
May your faith give us faith
May your hope give us hope
May your love give us love

You gave your love to see in fields of red and autumn brown
You gave your love to me and lay your young body down
Up the stairs, into the fire
I need you near, but love and duty called you someplace higher
Somewhere up the stairs, into the fire

May your strength give us strength
May your faith give us faith
May your hope give us hope
May your love give us love

It was dark, too dark to see, you held me in the light you gave
You lay your hand on me
Then walked into the darkness of your smoky grave
Up the stairs, into the fire
I need your kiss, but love and duty called you someplace higher
Somewhere up the stairs, into the fire

A song by Bruce Springsteen from the album "The Rising"

Rest now my fallen brother
Lay soft your suffering back
Rest well and forever
Your memory shall not lack
Rest your tired hands
Wipe clean your weary brow
Rest with St. Florian
Your spirit now endowed
Rest here your breaking heart
We know you gave your all
Rest easy, you’ve done your part
You’ve answered your last call
Rest knowing that in god we sought
Oh lord, watch over another who just fell
Rest assured your troubled thought
As we ring the final bell.

Submitted by R. Hoffman, SSgt. USAF/MOANG, Firefighter, Rosecrans Airport, St. Joseph, Missouri
I Wish You Could
I wish you could see the sadness of a business-man as his livelihood goes up in flames, or that family returning home, only to find their house and belongings damaged or destroyed.

I wish you could know what it is like to search a burning bedroom for trapped children, flames rolling above your head, your palms and knees burning as you crawl, the floor sagging under your weight as the kitchen beneath you burns.

I wish you could comprehend a wife’s horror at 3 a.m. as I check her husband of 40 years for a pulse and find none. I start CPR anyway, hoping to bring him back, knowing intuitively that it is too late. But wanting his wife and family to know everything possible was done.

I wish you knew the unique smell of burning insulation, the taste of soot filled mucus, the feeling of intense heat through your turnout gear, the sound of flames crackling, the eeriness of being able to see absolutely nothing in dense smoke ~ sensations that I have become too familiar with.

I wish you could understand how it feels to go to work in the morning after having spent most of the night, hot and soaking wet at a multiple alarm fire.

I wish you could read my mind as I respond to a building fire. “Is this a false alarm or a working, breathing fire? How is the building constructed? What hazards await me? Is anyone trapped? Or to an EMS call, “What is wrong with the patient?” Is it minor or life threatening? Is the caller really in distress or is he or she waiting for us with a 2x4 or a gun?

I wish you could be in the emergency room as a doctor pronounces dead the beautiful five-year-old girl that I tried to save during the past 25 minutes. Who will never go on her first date or say the words “I love you, Mommy” again.

I wish you could know the frustration I feel in the cab engine, the driver with his foot pressing down hard on the pedal, my arm tugging again and again at the air horn chain, as you fail to yield the right of way at an intersection or in traffic. When you need us, however, your first comment upon our arrival will be, “It took you forever to get here!”

I wish you could know my thoughts a s I help extricate a girl of teenage years from the mangled remains of her automobile. “What if this was my sister, my girlfriend, or a friend? What were her parents’ reaction going to be when they opened the door to find a police officer with hat in hand?

I wish you could know how it feels to walk in the back door and greet my parents and family, not having the heart to tell them that I nearly did not come back from the last call I was on. I wish you could feel the hurt as people verbally and sometime physically, abuse us or belittle what I do, or as they express their attitudes or “It will never happen to me.”

I wish you could know the brotherhood and self-satisfaction of helping save a life, or preserving someone’s property, of being there in time of crisis, or creating order from total chaos.

I wish you could understand what it feels like to have a little boy tugging at your arm and asking. "Is Mommy okay?" Not even being able to look in his eyes without tears from your own and not knowing what to say. Or to hold back a long-time friend who watches his buddy having rescue breathing done on him as they take him away in the ambulance. You know all along he did not have his seat belt on ~ Sensations I am too familiar with.

Unless you have lived with this kind of life, you will probably never truly understand or appreciate who I am, we are, or what our job really means to us


The 343
Ask any firefighter, and he will say
And the Brothers all agree;
We know that day, and it won't go away,
When we lost our 343.
Where were you when the Towers came down,
The cry will be heard through the years;
Where were you when the Twin Towers fell,
And we realized our worst fears.
The old man asked of the young boy he met,
The lad looked up and answered politely,
"My daddy's a fireman, and he died that day,
But I still say a prayer for him nightly."
The old man moved on, and he found a young girl,
And he asked the same question of her,
She answered so slow,"I don't think I know,
For you see, I wasn't born yet sir."

But ask any firefighter, and he will know,
The day, the time, and the year;
For those of us who fight smoke and fire
And have no time for fear.
We know that day, and it won't go away,
When we lost our 343.

So when you see a firetruck speeding by,
Manned by the men who fight the fight,
Or you hear a wailing siren, in the middle of the night,
It seems so far away, on some lonely thoroughfare,
Pause for just a moment, and think a silent prayer...

William Mackle
FDNY Retired
A Mother's Prayer
The alarm goes off, ready to go, all with no hesitation
Time to save a soul or a home, straight to that destination

This prayer’s for my son, as that fire calls
Protecting the innocent and fighting flaming walls

Guide him with your strength, the courage to pull him through
Give him that breath of air, if he gets down to his last few

By chance he may get weak; do give him the will to stand
Carry him as you said, your” Foot Prints in the Sand”

He will have to lift or ax a door today
May your angels chip away, helping along the way

There’s always the unknown, of what they call "back draft"
Secure your arms around him, and the others who have his back

Make way for him to listen, to hear that persons call
If he gets blinded, give him sight, direct him down that hall

Determined to break a window, to rescue that angry dog
Or fight the wild fires, to keep lands beauty how it belongs

Keep their team in motion, to know where one is at
They’re taking turns in and out, of these fires that attack

When that duty’s done, he’ll have peace of mind
You were right beside him; he now thanks you for your time

Lord I ask this of you, I pray you watch over him
Help him always save the lives, then return him to me again.

Carolyn Kay Carr
When Brave Men Cry
Into the bowels of Hell,these brave ones go
To save the lives of those they do not know
Guided by training & Camaraderie while overcoming fear
They dare to go with only Guardian Angels near

Through the smoke and heat and gasses too
They fight their fears when looking for you
A life to save is their primary task
Think of them with kindness is all they ask

The Cross of Malta is their chosen crest
Love of another is the required test
First to respond when all spells gloom
They won't quit though it could be their own doom

These Fire Fighters have seen so much
Burned and broken bodies, death, destruction and such
They go back for more each and every day
Because it's the lives they save that makes them stay

All for one and one for all
You go - I go that is their call
And in their quest, when some do fall
The rest stand strong - still giving their all

The loss of a family member does take it's toll
Cuts to the quick, down deep in your soul
Heroes forever, when they die
And that is when "BRAVE MEN CRY"

Thomas L Hart, Chaplain
Cut-N-Shoot Volunteer Fire Department
Retired Detroit Fire Fighter (Duty Disability)
The Rookie Stopped
Stopped on a stair, breath arrested;
Straining to hear,
Through crackling fire;
Staring to see,
Through face mask and smoke;
Searching for one missing,
Short of air.
Fear clutching legs and heart,
Fear all around,
Freezing action,
Freezing thoughts.
Advance below,
Retreat above.
Risk one’s own life?
Breathe -
Step down . . .
To courage.

Wayne Ayling


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