Category Archives: fire fighter

September 11th – 10 years later.

There are numerous thoughts swirling through my mind as I write this. It’s been ten years since the day. I was working at Lexis-Nexis at the time. We watched it all from our training room. Horror, fear, panic, sadness, and grief unexplainable…all at once. That evening I spent time with a wonderful woman who would later become my sweet wife.

People I call friends today would go to Ground Zero and help with the search and clean up. Ohio Task Force One went on their first mission. Among my friends, Chief Scott Hall was there. I knew none of those fine heroes then, but I have the privilege of knowing some of them today.

I remember being moved to tears by other pictures, at the time not even knowing why. People cheering and saluting the NYPD and FDNY as they drove by. The image of the exhausted firefighter surrounded by angels (and the snow version that winter). Those and so many others moved me. In 2008, I would figure out why.

In 2008, during one of the moments of silence, there was one for the last firefighter found alive. At that moment, a chain of events occurred that changed my life, and continues to do so even to this day. During that moment, a gratitude for our law enforcement and fire crews really “came to life” so to speak. That evening I called the Huber Heights Police and asked the dispatcher if she could let the officers and fire fighters know my appreciation for them. I was informed that they had not had that request in over 14 years. So that’s when I decided that I would reach as many as I could and let them know they are cared about. Since then I’ve talked (in person and via email) to officer sand firefighters from all over the country.

Today I read the story of Father Mychal Judge, the Chaplain of the New York Fire Department. He actually entered the towers that morning. Why? Because his guys were in there. And when commanders gave orders to evacuate the building, he refused to abandon the hundreds of firefighters still trapped inside saying, “My work here is not finished.”

“Fidelis Ad Mortem” – “Faithful Unto Death”. That’s what he was. Faithful unto death. One day I will get that badge with the word “Chaplain” on it. That’s where I’m headed. And when I do, I hope to be as faithful to “my guys” as he was to his. Fidelis Ad Mortem.

Please distribute to all Law Enforcement, Paramedic and Fire personnel – 9/11/2011

Distribution: Please distribute to all Law Enforcement, Paramedic and Fire personnel

First, I want to say thank you to everyone who has made it possible for me to distribute this message. I can not express my gratitude enough for your assistance.

Greetings to you as we head toward September 11th. Soon we will mark the tenth anniversary of one of the darkest days in our Nation’s history. As a Nation, we watched in horror as our feelings of safety and security were shattered. We felt hopeless to help. But some did. Firefighters and Officers suited up, looked at the outcome of evil, and did what they had to do. 412 heroes gave their lives that day. In the ten years since then numerous others have died with a 9/11 related illness. A line that I have quoted before describes them well. “All these were honored in their generations, and were the glory of their times.”

Many of you reading this note were doing your job that day. While you may have been hundreds of miles away, the sting you felt was something you may never forget. You too look at evil’s outcome each day you prepare for work. In each of my emails, I always hope to let you know that there are people who not only support you, but care about you and your safety. There are people who stand up for your rights, even in the face of what can be a negative public perception at times. And sometimes I also want to give you something to think about.

Safety. YOUR safety. It is said that “forewarned is forearmed”. Advance warning provides an advantage. Sometimes, you need all the advantage you can get.

– Everyone knows about wearing seat belts. Do you always wear them?

– Wearing your protective gear (vests, fire suits, etc.) Do you wear them every time?

– A topic that was recently covered at lawofficer.com was driving at a safe speed when responding to a call. Do we always keep that in mind?

– Training is different for agencies depending on a variety of factors. Do you take advantage of the training available? Do you view materials like the “Below 100” campaign for LEO’s or the various fire safety articles for you firefighters out there?

– Protective gloves. Do you wear them when doing first aid and when dealing with blood?

– Line of Duty deaths happen for various reason, at various times, with numerous factors. Do you review them to see if there is something you can take away from the situation? What was the cause and what could YOU do differently to see a better outcome?

Never forget that you are appreciated. Never forget that you are looked up to by countless people. Never forget that every time you put on that uniform, you are making a difference to someone.

I’ve said it before and will say it until I take my last breath, you all are heroes. I don’t know how often you hear it, but I’m certain it’s not nearly enough. Thank you for all that you do.

Please distribute to all Police, Paramedic and Fire personnel – Happy Fourth of July

Distribution: Please distribute to all Law Enforcement, Paramedic and Fire personnel

First, I want to say thank you to everyone who has made it possible for me to distribute this message. I can not express my gratitude enough for your assistance.

Greetings to you and Happy Forth of July.

Free. It’s a great word. Most of us like free stuff. Free meals. Free drinks. “Buy 1 get one free”. Why does “free” feel so good to us? Partly because we get to receive a benefit from something that was paid for (at some level) by someone else.

A common phrase that we hear about this time goes to the effect of “Freedom may be free, but it certainly isn’t cheap.” It’s during this time that we think about the price that someone else paid so that we could experience “free”.

We think of those in military service. Those who serve home and abroad, hundreds or thousands of miles from home. Who may live closer to the enemy that they do their families.

We think about our Founding Fathers, who sacrificed, fought, challenged, and even died to stand up to tyranny. Those who stood up and said “Give me liberty or give me death!”

But sometimes, you are forgotten about. You may say that you’re not a hero…”not like those guys overseas”. One thing that I’ve gathered from talking to some of you, the word “hero” is not something you consider yourself to be. “I’m just doing my job” one officer told me. A firefighter once told me “I just put out fires. No big deal.” It’s a job. It’s another day in the city. Another day on the truck. Nothing particularly heroic.

You enable us to be free and safe here at home. We have seen what life has to offer. Sometimes, it’s just plain rotten. That’s where you come in. I’ve had cars stolen and had officers come out and do what they can to make it better for me. And when my wife was in a serious crash a couple of years ago, I have an officer greet me and let me know what happened, what to expect, and where to go next. All the while, EMS was stabilizing and safely transporting her. Then when I was in an accident, I had EMS come and check me to make sure I was OK. At times that were bad for me, they were there to calm, help and do what they could for me. You’ve done that for countless people in much worse situations. I could cite many more examples, but I try to keep this brief. My family is safe because you are there. I don’t have to worry about what time it is, day or night, because you are there. I can be free because you are there.

Never forget that you are appreciated. Never forget that you are looked up to by countless people. Never forget that every time you put on that uniform, you are making a difference to someone.

I’ve said it before and will say it until I take my last breath, you all are heroes. I don’t know how often you hear it, but I’m certain it’s not nearly enough. Thank you for all that you do. I wish a happy Fourth of July to each and every one of you.

Please distribute to all Police, Paramedic and Fire personnel – Merry Christmas

First, I want to say thank you to all the Chiefs, Sheriffs and administrators who have made it possible for me to distribute this message.

This marks the second Christmas season that I have sent out emails. In 2008, I decided that no Police Officer, Paramedic, or Fire Fighter will ever serve, protect and defend through a holiday and not know that they are appreciated by someone. As I reflect on the experiences that have come from doing this, I must say that my life is fuller because of it. For those of you who I have met personally, rode in a car with, and celebrated birthdays with, it’s been some really good times. And as I continue my mission to make sure you feel appreciated, I look forward to meeting and spending time with more of you.

I wish you and your families a Merry Christmas and Happy Holiday Season. I know most of you will be working during the holidays. Whether you are dispatching, in a patrol car, or a fire truck, you will spend part of the holidays away from your family. A lot of people do not understand that kind of sacrifice and dedication. You are out there keeping us safe so we can have a happy holiday season with our families. You are out in the cold, the rain, snow, driving to work while most people are sleeping in, or celebrating with family and friends.

I want to say, THANK YOU. Words can not express the gratitude that I have. But not just myself. Don’t forget that there are lots of other people who feel that way. You just may not hear it. I think that is unfortunate that you do not hear it more often than you do, but thank you. Thank you for putting on a uniform everyday. Thank you for being ready to answer a call, even on Christmas. Thank you for checking those hoses, shining those trucks or checking that light bar, and strapping on your duty belt. Those mundane tasks that you do everyday, now on one of the most important holidays of the year. Thank you. As my family sits down to our dinner, or open our gifts, know that you will be thought of at that time, and your sacrifices honored. Please express my appreciation for you to your families.

And, as I’ve noted before, the holidays can be a time of sadness, frustration or depression. It can be hard to balance out what you have to deal with and still know that there are great people in society as well. If you find yourself struggling in this holiday season, don’t hesitate to reach out for assistance. Your departments may have Employee Assistance Care, Chaplains, Chiefs, any other Supervisor, clergy and/or even friends for guidance and assistance should you need it. I’ll make myself available to help you in any way that I can. Call us, grab us after roll call, send an email. Reach out if you need to.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays. I’ve said it before and will say it again, you all are heroes. I don’t know how often you hear it, but I’m certain it’s not nearly enough.

Please distribute to all Police, Paramedic and Fire personnel – Happy Thanksgiving

Thank you again for allowing me the opportunity to speak with you.

Thanksgiving 2010 will soon be here. Another year is soon coming to a close. I just want to talk a little about adversity. I can almost hear you ask, “Why would we hear about adversity on Thanksgiving?” For starters, if you’re reading this note, you have survived. People and circumstances threw their best at you and you came out on top. You might have received some bumps and bruises along the way, but your here. And you get to fight another day. That bullet meant for you missed its target. That building should have collapsed but didn’t. All the things that could have gone wrong didn’t. Adversity evokes dormant potential within us that could not be awakened otherwise. And if this statement is true for anyone, it’s true for you. Rushing INTO burning buildings. Maintaining composure to return fire when fired upon. Having to talk to relatives after a horrible accident. I’m amazed not only by what you do on a regular basis, but the strength, composure and dedication with which you do it.

There are battles you fight in your individual lives that might make the job pale in comparison. Sometimes “off-duty” things can be just as hard (or harder) to deal with. Departments and communities coming together after a tornado. One officer in my area is fighting cancer, but has been surrounded with love and support from everyone.

It’s been said that no man is an island. Sometimes we forget the impact that our lives have on others. During the holiday season, it can be easy to be discouraged. But every one of us has touched lives that we may never know about. You HAVE made a difference for people.

As I end this note, I’d like to encourage you: Take time to see the difference you have made. Life, with all its ups and downs, is something to be enjoyed and appreciated. And if you have a rough time, your departments may have Employee Assistance Care, Chaplains, Chiefs, supervisors, clergy and/or even friends for guidance and assistance should you need it. I’ll make myself available to help you in any way that I can.

I’ve said it in every email, and every chance I get. I’ve said it to the chiefs and administrators when I contact them. I’ve said it to you on the streets and stores. You all are heroes. I don’t know how often you hear it, but I’m certain it’s not nearly enough.

Please distribute to all Law Enforcement, Paramedic and Fire personnel – 9/11/2010

Distribution: Please distribute to all Law Enforcement, Paramedic and Fire personnel

First, I want to say thank you to everyone who has made it possible for me to distribute this message. I can not express my gratitude enough for your assistance. It is an honor to get to write to you and want to thank each of you for the jobs that you do everyday.

As I write this message, we are only a few weeks away from stopping our normal routine to remember those who lost their lives in the attacks that day. Around 3000 people lost their lives that day. 343 firefighters gave their lives that tragic day. In fire stations all over the United States we’ll “remember the 343” for being heroes. 69 officers of the NYPD and PAPD gave their lives that day and more since then due to 9/11 related illness. They will be remembered in police stations across the country as heroes. The more time that I spend with fire and law enforcement personnel, I notice the brotherhood that exists. The sense of brotherhood that recognizes that you might be a firefighter in Dayton, a trooper in Lexington, or EMS in Indiana, that there is a bond that exists between you and other people, people you may never meet, but you consider them a brother/sister anyway. It is truly awesome to see.

Elbert Hubbard is quoted “Our admiration is so given to dead martyrs that we have little time for living heroes.” This is a sad fact of our society, one I’d love to change. We have heroes every day who sit in engines and cruisers and ambulances, which get far less admiration than they deserve. I hope each of you receive an outpouring of appreciation. I hope that people see you in stores and restaurants and pick up your bill. I hope you again hear the cheers of the community you protect. I hope that in the midst of your routine, you feel the gratitude and support that you deserve. You have my support and admiration.

I’ve said it in every email, and every chance I get. I’ve said it to the chiefs and administrators when I contact them. I’ve said it to you on the streets and stores. You all are heroes. I don’t know how often you hear it, but I’m certain it’s not nearly enough.

Dr. Mike Crain I, D.Min.
ucraimx AT yahoo.com
http://livingwarfare.blogspot.com/2009/05/faq-who-are-you-and-what-are-you-doing.html
http://www.facebook.com/DoctorMichael
http://www.policelink.com/member/DoctorMike
http://www.firelink.com/member/DoctorMike

Please distribute to all Police, Paramedic and Fire personnel – Happy Fourth of July

Distribution: Please distribute to all Law Enforcement, Paramedic and Fire personnel

First, I want to say thank you to everyone who has made it possible for me to distribute this message. I can not express my gratitude enough for your assistance.

Sacrifice. On July 4th, we honor the sacrifice of our founding fathers who pledged their lives, fortunes and sacred honor. It was given to the young country by men who would come to know the high cost of what they did. Men who, in most cases, paid with their very lives. We’re free today because of the sacrifice of others. From the battle in Lexington and Concord in 1775 to present day Afghanistan.

But there are others who ensure we are safe, that allow our great Nation to pursue “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness”. Again I’m reminded of what Dr. Pat Murray said, “Freedom was paid for by the blood and conviction of it’s citizens.” There have been over 4055 firefighters and 5942 police officers who have paid the ultimate price of sacrifice in my lifetime, and thousands more prior to that. We honor them as we hold them in our thoughts during parades and memorials. And we honor their sacrifice as we live our daily lives, trying to make the world a better place and a safer place.

But I’d like to give you some encouragement, those of you fighting the fires, saving lives, and apprehending those who intend to do us harm. So I salute those of you who are out there keeping us safe, secure, and protected every day. I don’t think that you get near the amount of gratitude that you deserve, so I do what I can. Never forget that you are appreciated. Never forget that you are looked up to by countless people. Never forget that everytime you put on that uniform, you are making a difference.

I’ve said it before and will say it until I take my last breath, you all are heroes. I don’t know how often you hear it, but I’m certain it’s not nearly enough. Thank you for all that you do. I wish a happy Fourth of July to each and every one of you.