Firefighters are not normal people. When everyone is running away, firefighters are running into the inferno. While most people are not particularly interested in the science of fire, firefighters devote hours to understanding combustibles, fire dynamics, and flash points. The thought of living and sleeping at the office because your shifts are so long and grueling puts most people off, but firefighters gladly accept the accommodations.
Firefighters are not normal people, and normal people should be grateful for that. It takes a special kind of courage, dedication, and passion to spend your professional life fighting the oldest friend and foe known to man: fire.
Saturday evening, a dozen firefighters received medical attention after several butane and Co2 canisters exploded at a hash oil manufacturing business in downtown Los Angeles. Video shows firefighters trying to escape the building when a fireball 30-feet tall rocked entire city blocks. Helmets melting, protective clothing burning, engine smoldering, and a mayday call – every first responder’s worst nightmare – brought more than 200 firefighters to the scene ready to do whatever was asked of them.
Two of the injured were put on ventilators to ease the demand put on their respiratory systems not necessarily because of smoke inhalation, but because the extreme heat of gas vapors seared their airways. Burns are a devastatingly nasty business but these people risk it in the name of public safety.
Without these not-normal-above-average first responders, the world we live in would look much different. Say a prayer, give thanks, and show support for firefighters who allow us to live in comfort and security but who will not hesitate to rescue complete strangers from danger.