A fading art
A. J. Geiss
My hat`s off to Bill Manning for the fantastic Editor`s Opinion in the July 1998 issue. Hat`s off also to William Crapo and “Time for a Change,” which hit similar topics.
Firefighting is an art form. Unfortunately, it is heading toward the category of a lost art. Why, when we have some of the best resources in equipment and training ever, are we spreading ourselves so thin in so many other areas that we are losing the art that is the true basis of our job? How about the old-time “smoke-eaters” who made the job an art by doing it with unbelievable passion before there were such things as proper protective clothing, SCBA, and the updated equipment we have today. Here we are with all these things, and we are losing the feeling that firefighting is an art and firefighters are artists.
As the world becomes more complex, we do need to concern ourselves with such areas as haz mat, EMS, and technical rescue. What we cannot do, however, is overindulge in these areas at the cost of forgetting our true calling of protecting people and property from fire and keeping firefighters safe in the process. Let us all pay the old “smoke-eaters” their due respect by continuing the tradition of approaching this job with the same passion they did. Let us also train and prepare ourselves properly so we can ap-proach every fire as a true artist as opposed to being so techno-geeked out in so many other areas that we lose the knowledge of the simple basics of how to perform our true calling.
My deepest respect goes out to the Vincent Dunns, Frank Brannigans, and Tom Brennans of this world, who have spent their lives trying to improve and make safer the job we do and teaching us all their excellent know-how. Let us go to the fire station every morning trying to be the true artists they have tried to make us. They have done their part–now let us do ours.