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07-21-06, 08:17 PM #1
Sorry this is kinda long But it's good.
-I wish you could know what it is like to search a burning bedroom for trapped children at 3 AM, flames rolling above your head, your palms and knees burning as you crawl, the floor sagging under your weight as the kitchen below you burns.
I wish you could comprehend a wife's horror at 6 in the morning 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 it is too late. But wanting his wife and family to know everything possible was done to try to save his life.
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've
become too familiar with.
I wish you could read my mind as I respond to a building fire "Is this a false alarm or a working fire? How is the building constructed? What hazards await me? Is anyone trapped?" Or to call, "What is wrong with the patient? Is it minor or life-threatening? Is the caller really in distress or is he 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 have been trying 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 of the engine, squad, or my personal vehicle, 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 as I help extricate a girl of teenage years from the remains of her automobile. "What if this was my daughter, sister, my girlfriend or a friend? What was her parent's 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 wish you could know how it feels dispatching officers, firefighters and EMT's out and when we call for them and our heart drops because no one answers back or to here a bone chilling 911 call of a child or wife needing assistance.
I wish you could feel the hurt as people verbally, and sometimes physically, abuse us or belittle what I do, or as they express their attitudes of "It will never happen to me."
I wish you could understand why we tend to be so cautious and "unfriendly" when we pull you over. And I wish you would not take it so personally.
I wish you could understand the pain of watching someone who wears the same uniform being laid to rest after being killed in the line of duty.
I wish you could realize the physical, emotional and mental drain or missed meals, lost sleep and forgone social activities, in addition to all the tragedy my eyes have seen.
I wish you could know the brotherhood and self-satisfaction of helping save a life or preserving someone's property, or being able to be there in time of crisis, or creating order from total chaos.
I wish you could understand why we hate it when you look at us and tell your little child, "If you don't behave, I'm gonna give you to that policeman." Great, now they're scared of us. So who do you want them to call when things go bad?
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 have to hold back a long time friend who watches his buddy having CPR done on him as they take him away in the Medic Unit. You know all along he did not have his seat belt on. A sensation that I have become too familiar with.
I wish you could understand the terror that courses through your veins in the seconds before you make a life and death decision because someone you probably have never met is determined to kill you.
I wish you could understand the frustration of arriving at a call and finding someone with a gun, knowing that you have milliseconds to decide if you need to shoot or not, while after the fact, your actions will be debated for months by many who have never even held a gun.
Unless you have lived with this kind of life, you will never truly understand or appreciate who I am, we are, or what our job really means to us...
I wish you could though.
07-21-06, 10:53 PM #2Rookie
- Join Date
- Aiken, SC
- Rep Power
I don't wish you could know what it is like to be a mother, knowing your daughter is dead. Knowing that the last memories of her will be burned into your mind and no amount of counseling or therapy or drugs will remove it. I do wish you could know the comfort that is brought just by a uniform standing there. Knowing that, though they didn't want to be there any more than I, they came willingly into my personal hell.... They were a sign that there was someone who had some authority, some control, when mine fell apart.
No, cops and paramedics couldn't bring my daughter back, though they tried their hardest to do so.. Doctors couldn't bring her back, though they fought for 36 hours to do so. No one could save her, not even me. I can't describe how it felt, and really don't want to. All I can say is that when I would have fallen to the floor, you were there standing up for me, lending strength when I had none. Lending control when mine had flown. Talking to those who needed information when all I could do was cry.. Do not ever feel your job is not understood and properly appreciated... It is..
Hopefully this conveys to you the appreciation and understanding those who need you most have for the job you carry. You are there for people who are where they don't want to be, and your prescence can touch people when they most need but can least express it.
Thank you to the men and women who I don't remember but were there for me. And thank you to all who go into people's lives when they are at the darkest.. You are there when no one else wants to be, including the participants.. That is the most important job I can think of.....
I wish I could be more eloquent. Prose was never a huge forte of mine. So........ thanks.
07-21-06, 10:57 PM #3
Good post Bufford.
ThanksNo one has greater love than this, to lay down ones life for ones friends - John 15:13
"The Wicked Flee When No Man Pursueth: But The Righteous Are Bold As A Lion".
We lucky few, we band of brothers. For he who today sheds his blood with me shall be my brother.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~The opinions, beliefs, and ideas expressed in this post are mine, and mine alone. They are NOT the opinions, beliefs, ideas, or policies of my Agency, Police Chief, City Council, or any member of my department.
07-22-06, 05:16 AM #4
I got a lump in my throat and tears in my eyes as I write this. Fantastic post. I've only been to 2 law enforcement funerals and those were while I was active duty military, both officers had been prior Navy veterans. Those 2 funerals were 2 funerals too many. And something we all hope we never have to go to but will to honor those who have fall in defence of the thin blue line.
Last edited by depusm12; 07-22-06 at 05:19 AM.JamesDept of the Army Civilian Police"Loyalty above all else, except Honor"Never forget those who fell on 9/11/01S&W beats 4 Aces every time
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