May 4, 2018

It’s Getting Hot In Here, So…

May 4 is International Firefighter’s Day, marking the feast day of St. Florian who is the patron saint of firefighters.

Our towns are protected by the 20 volunteer brigades of the NSW Far North Coast Rural Fire Service. For every little kid who wanted to be a firefighter – volunteering for the Rural Fire Service in NSW is an opportunity to do good and to be a part of the world’s largest firefighting service.

There is no rational or evolutionary reason for people in good health to run towards the danger of fire, yet some are called to save lives and preserve community in the face of danger. There isn’t a more obvious definition of humanity than those who sit in a fire engine.

In Greek mythology, it was Prometheus who stole fire from the gods and brought it to earth in defiance of the gods who responded with punishment and fury. In contrast to Prometheus, John Godfrey Saxe asks us to consider, “how ought all the gods honour the men [sic] who make it their professional business to put it out?” We can’t be sure what the gods might have in store, but for our community, today is a day where we can say “Thank you”.

On a day that is also dedicated to celebrating the sci-fi opera, Star Wars (“May the Fourth Be With You”), it is important not to let the frivolity of those inter-galactic fiction heroes overshadow the real ones who do whatever it takes to keep us safe from fire and rescue us from peril.

The point of this ‘day’ is not to diminish the latent graciousness we have, collectively, for the first responders who rush to the flames when others rush away. The purpose of the day is to take the time, to make the effort to convey that thanks.

With digital communication, it is easier than ever to show your appreciation. If you want to thank the volunteers and firefighters who are the first to respond to the call, you can leave a review and a ‘thank you’ message on their facebook page like we did, just click here:

As Alfred Painter says, “Saying thank you is more than good manners. It is good spirituality.”

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