From High Heels To Orthopedics Shoes!

Could Be A 3rd Generation Firefighter!

The following is a letter I wrote to the Bay Area News Group, (including the Contra Costa Times) yesterday, I don't know if they will publish it, but I hope they do. With all the talk about the high benefits that firefighters have, etc. they might gain a new perspective on the caring and necessary, services that your local firefighters provide, beyond their most important job of fighting fires.  I feel so strongly about this because I, unfortunately, have used their services, way too many times, not frivolously, we were in dire medical need. We have an aging population that requires more help and thank God the firefighters can come to our rescue. Firefighter’s job's require being on duty 24 hours a day, and don't get Christmas, New Years, etc. off because it is a Holiday. Please let’s stop "knocking" firefighters and get that money from overpaid administrators, commissions, etc.

Dear Editor,

After months of debate, & negative dialogue, I feel obligated to respond.  Months ago my firefighter son was badly injured on the job and may soon require a second surgery and possibly his career will be over. As a mother, & grandmother of firefighters and frequent user of services that firefighters provide I feel obligated to respond to all the rhetoric concerning firefighter benefits.  The benefits paid to firefighters deserve to be paid; you are getting the "best of the best"!  I don't think the public realizes the years of training, physical mental testing and in some cases, advanced education that is required and when one or two positions open up for a department, and most times hundreds, apply for that spot. During those interim years most are unpaid, volunteer, firefighters till they get hired as a permanent firefighter. When one is finally chosen, believe me, you are getting "the best of the best"!

Firefighters respond to many emergencies, traffic accidents, medical, gas leaks, etc. and of course fires. Every call requires skill and expertise, strength, courage, and compassion.

You may think at this point, "she is only a proud Mom", I am, BUT, unfortunately 911 was called and I used the services of firefighters at least 17 times over the course of 25 years. All resulted in hospital stays, starting with a head on auto collision (not my fault) that resulted in a broken neck, my husband’s serious heart condition, (cardiac arrest) and several hip dislocations, (excruciating pain).  In every instance, the minute I heard the sirens I breathed a sigh of relief.  In every single instance, in Santa Clara and Contra Costa Counties both, I felt like "I was saved". Every firefighter that treated us was well trained, in addition to being kind, compassionate, polite, knowledgeable, and just wonderful in every way.  I wasn't thinking about a parcel taxes I may have to pay or benefits to the brave firefighters, I was just praying I would be soon out of pain and still alive when It was all over. In my mind, they deserve the benefits, they have earned them. Trust me, if your life, or your child's life, or any loved one is in danger you  will be grateful there was a fully  staffed fire station and trained firefighters close by,  I  felt they deserved an Olympic Gold Medal, because they were "the best of the best" taking care of me until I got to the hospital.

Sincerely,

Karen Long

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Karen | Reply 13.08.2012 15.57

Thanks, of course I totally agree, when you need help, usually you need it fast and I just love those guys! It is embarrassing to have needed them so often!

Heather | Reply 13.08.2012 15.16

Great letter. I too have used emergency services more than once and thank God for the expertise they have. We're blessed just knowing they are there to help.

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02.08 | 23:38

I too am an avid fan of Joan. I attended two of her workshops at GATE conferences in CA. She is one of my career inspirations by far. She is AWESOME!

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05.12 | 16:27

I am thoroughly enjoying your blog, Karen! I love your "stream of consciousness" style of writing, as well as your wit and humor. Chuckled & laughed all thru!

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27.10 | 13:35

Thanks Karen. It's always happy to read your "blog". Glad you are feeling better.Sipping time....

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01.10 | 11:06

You Karen (cuz) are and ALWAYS been the JOY in our family! Some of the most wonderful times in my life are because of you and your sons! You are incredible!

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