MISTRESS CARRIE'S BLOG

What you can do to help the Firefighters.

Yesterday was an extremely sad day in the City of Boston, and the Firefighting community. Boston has seen it's share of tragedy over the last year, and Ladder 15/Engine 33 have been right there in the middle of it all. The night before the fire, I was with Mike Kennedy and many other members of the Boston Fire Department, Boston Firefighters Burn Foundation, and members of Fire Departments and Burn Foundations from around the country at a Burn Foundation function. Mike and I were busting balls, laughing and joking about the years that I have auctioned him off at the Firefighters Bachelor Auction. I was trying to convince him to pose in a charity calendar, and he was making fun of my "Mantown" calendar shoot a few years back when I wore fire fighting gear. We shared a pretzel, and fetched each other drinks. At the end of the night, Mike and a fellow firefighter walked me to my car to "make sure I got home ok". Mike gave me a sloppy, wet kiss on the cheek, and I laughed and yelled at him , wiping it off and said "I got you all over me".

The next day, he was gone. My heart is broken for the Walsh and Kennedy families, the Boston Fire Department, and the fire fighting community as a whole.

Donations are being collected to help Mike's family and the family of Lt. Ed Walsh. Click here for more info. 

(photo credit: Piotrus via wikimedia)

So, you may be asking yourself, "what can I do to help?"... Well, as the daughter of a firefighter, who grew up celebrating birthdays and Christmas's at the firehouse, who has watched her "uncles" cry after a tough day on the job, and who has seen first hand the toll that this job takes on them and their families, THIS is what you can do...

SUPPORT THEM THE OTHER 364 DAYS OF THE YEAR!

Have their backs! Ask yourself this question, why does the Leary Firefighters Fund have to exist? Why does a non-profit organization have to exist to help fund training and equipment for Fire Departments? Why do our elected officials redecorate their offices, when our fire houses are crumbling around old trucks? Why do politicians get raises, and fire houses get closed? Our first responders (Fire, Police, EMS) are not getting rich at work. Most have second jobs, and they are resticted on where they can live. They are the first to be criticized, and last to be thanked. They are used as political pawns to rile up voters when budget cuts are needed, and vilified in the press for the slightest infractions. But, no one ever has trouble dialing 911 when they need help.

Hold your elected officials accountable, make sure that your local fire house and firefighters have what they need. Stop by the house and ask questions, demand better gear, training, and treatment. Act as their best advocates when taxes are being raised, and budgets are being cut. These brave heroes go to work EVERY DAY protecting the communities that they live in, and we benefit from their sacrifices. Even a simple 'Thank You' while they are out washing the truck goes a long way.

The night before he died, Mike Kennedy was working with the Boston Firefighters Burn Foundation, which raises money to help civilian victims of burns get free treatment for their injuries. His story is not unique. Our firefighters do amazing things with and without the uniform on. I just wish more people paid attention on the days that aren't marked in tragedy.

Listen to Ed Kelly the President of Professional Firefighters of Massachusetts and Richie Paris President of Local 718 who joined the Hillman Morning Show first to talk about the tragic events last night...