Prayers & Inspirations
When I am called to duty, God
Whenever flames may rage
Give me strength to save some life
Whatever be its age.
Help me embrace a little child
Before it is too late
Or save an older person
The horror of that fate.
Enable me to be alert
And hear the weakest shout
And quickly and efficiently
To put the fire out.
I want to fill my calling and
To give the best of me
To guard my every neighbor and
Protect his property.
And if according to my fate
I answer to death's call,
Please bless with your protecting hand
My family one and all.
Brother when you weep for me
Remember that it was meant to be
Lay me down and when you leave
Remember I'll be at your sleeve
In every dark and choking hall
I'll be there as you slowly crawl
On every roof in driving snow
I'll hold your coat and you will know
In cellars hot with searing heat
At windows where a gate you meet
In closets where young children hide
You know I'll be there at your side
The house from which I now respond
Is overstaffed with heroes gone
Those who answered one last bell
Did the job and did it well
As firefighters we understand
That death's a card dealt in our hand
A card we hope we never play
But one we hold there anyway
That card is something we ignore
As we crawl across a weakened floor
For we know that we're the only prayer
For anyone that might be there
So remember as you wipe your tears
The joy I knew throughout the years
As I did the job I loved to do
I pray that thought will see you through.
Grant me the ability
To give emergency care
With skillful hands, a knowledgeable mind
And tender love and care.
Help me deal with everything,
When lives are on the line
To see the worst, administer aid,
And ease a worried mind.
So help me as I go today
Accept what fate may be
Touch these hands,
Use this mind,
Help this EMT.
As I perform my duty Lord
Whatever be the call,
Help to guide and keep me safe
From dangers big and small.
I want to serve and do my best
No matter what the scene,
I pledge to keep my skills refined,
My judgement quick and keen.
This calling to give of my self
Most do not understand,
But I stand ready all the time
To help my fellow man.
To have the chance to help a child
Restore his laugh with glee,
A word of thanks I might not hear,
But knowing is enough for me.
The praise of men is fine for some,
But I feel truly blessed,
That you oh Lord have chosen me
To serve in EMS!
When the Lord made EMT's and Paramedics, he was into his sixth day of overtime when an angel appeared and said, "You're doing a lot of fiddling around on this one."
And the Lord said, "Have you read the specs on this order? An EMS provider has to be able to carry an injured person up a wet, grassy hill in the dark, dodge stray bullets to reach a dying child unarmed, enter homes the health inspector wouldn't touch, and not wrinkle their uniform."
"They have to be able to lift 3 times their own weight, crawl into wrecked cars with barely enough room to move, and console a grieving mother as they are doing CPR on a baby they know will never breathe again."
"They have to be in top mental condition at all times, running on no sleep, black coffee and half-eaten meals. And they have to have six pairs of hands."
The angel shook her head slowly and said, "Six pairs of hands...no way."
"It's not the hands that are causing me problems," said the Lord, "It's the three pairs of eyes a medic has to have."
"That's on the standard model?" asked the angel.
The Lord nodded. "One pair that sees open sores as they're drawing blood and asks the patient if they may be HIV positive," (when they already know and wish they'd taken that accounting job.) Another pair here in the side of the head for their partners' safety. And another pair of eyes here in front that can look supportively at a frightened person and gently explain that their spouse of many years has departed this life."
"Lord," said the angel, touching his sleeve, "rest and work on this tomorrow."
"I can't," said the Lord, "I already have a model that can talk a 250 pound drunk out from behind a steering wheel without incident and feed a family of five on a private service paycheck."
The angel circled the model of the medic very slowly, "Can it think?" she asked.
"You bet," said the Lord. "It can tell you the symptoms of 100 illnesses; recite drug calculations in its sleep; intubate, defibrillate, medicate, and continue CPR nonstop over terrain that any doctor would fear...and still it keeps its sense of humor. This medic also has phenomenal personal control. He can deal with a multi-victim trauma, coax a frightened elderly person to unlock their door, comfort an assault victim's family, and then read an article in the daily paper about responders being too slow to locate a house (a house which had no street sign and no house numbers.)"
Finally, the angel bent over and ran her finger across the cheek of the medic. "There's a leak," she pronounced. "I told you that you were trying to put too much into this model."
"That's not a leak," said the Lord, "It's a tear."
"What's the tear for?" asked the angel.
"It's for bottled-up emotions, for patients they've tried in vain to save, for commitment to that hope that they will make a difference in a person's chance to survive, for seeing an accident victim walk again, for the family time they will miss while serving the community, for life."
"You're a genius," said the angel.
The Lord looked somber. "I didn't put it there," He said.
The 26-year-old mother stared down at her son who was dying of leukemia. Although her heart was filled with sadness, she also had a strong feeling of determination. Like any parent she wanted her son to grow up and fulfill all his dreams. Now that was no longer possible. The leukemia would see to that. But she still wanted her son's dreams to come true.
She took her son's hand and asked, "Billy, did you ever think about what you wanted to be once you grew up? Did you ever dream and wish what you would do with your life?"
"Mommy, I always wanted to be a fireman when I grew up."
Mom smiled back and said, "Let's see if we can make your wish come true."
Later that day she went to her local fire department in Phoenix, Arizona, where she met Fireman Bob, who had a heart as big as Phoenix. She explained her son's final wish and asked if it might be possible to give her six-year-old son a ride around the block on a fire engine.
Fireman Bob said, "Look, we can do better than that. If you'll have your son ready at seven o'clock Wednesday morning, we'll make him an honorary fireman for the whole day. He can come down to the fire station, eat with us, go out on all the fire calls, the whole nine yards! And if you'll give us his sizes, we'll get a real fire uniform for him, with a real fire hat - not a toy one - with the emblem of the Phoenix Fire Department on it, a yellow coat like we wear and rubber boots. They're all manufactured right here in Phoenix, so we can get them fast."
Three days later Fireman Bob picked up Billy, dressed him in his fire uniform and escorted him from his hospital bed to the waiting hook and ladder truck. Billy got to sit on the back of the truck and help steer it back to the fire station. He was in heaven.
There were three fire calls in that section of Phoenix that day and Billy got to go out on all three calls. He rode in the different fire engines, the paramedic's van and even the fire chief's car. He was also video taped for the local news program. Having his dream come true, with all the love and attention that was lavished upon him, so deeply touched Billy that he lived three months longer than any doctor thought possible.
One night his vital signs began to drop dramatically and the head nurse, who believed in the hospice concept that no one should die alone, began to call the family members to the hospital.
Then she remembered the day Billy had spent as a fireman, so she called the fire chief and asked if it would be possible to send a fireman in uniform to the hospital to be with Billy as he made his transition.
The chief replied, "We can do better than that. We'll be there in five minutes. Will you please do me a favor? When you hear the sirens and see the lights flashing, will you announce over the PA system that there is not a fire? It's just the fire department coming to see one of its finest members one more time. And will you open the window to his room? Thanks."
About five minutes later several engines and a hook and ladder truck arrived at the hospital. The truck extended its ladder up to Billy's third floor open window and 16 firefighters climbed up the ladder into Billy's room. With his mother's permission, they hugged him and held him and told him how much they loved him.
With his dying breath, Billy looked up at the fire chief and said, "Chief, am I really a fireman now?"
"Billy, you are," the chief said.
With those words, Billy smiled and closed his eyes one last time.
Just for this morning, I am going to smile when I see your face and laugh when I feel like crying.
Just for this morning, I will let you wake up softly, all rumpled in your sheets and I will hold you until you are ready for the day.
Just for this morning, I will let you choose what you want to wear, and smile and say how perfect it is.
Just for this morning, I am going to step over the laundry, and pick you up and take you to the park to play.
Just for this morning, I will leave the dishes in the sink, and let you teach me how to put that puzzle of yours together.
Just for this afternoon, I will unplug the telephone and keep the computer off, and sit with you in the back yard and blow bubbles.
Just for this afternoon, I will not yell once, not even a tiny grumble, when you beg and whine for the ice cream truck, and I will buy you one if it comes by.
Just for this afternoon, I won't worry about what you are going to be when you grow up, or second guess every decision I have made where you are concerned.
Just for this afternoon, I will let you help me bake cookies, and I won't stand over you trying to fix them.
Just for this afternoon, I will take you to McDonald's and buy us both a Happy Meal so you can have both toys.
Just for this evening, I will hold you in my arms and tell you a story about how you were born, and how much I love you.
Just for this evening, I will let you splash in the tub and not get angry.
Just for this evening, I will let you stay up late while we sit on the porch and count all the stars.
Just for this evening, I will snuggle beside you for hours, and miss my favorite TV show.
Just for this evening, when I run my fingers through your hair as you pray, I will simply be grateful that God has given me the greatest gift ever given. I will think about the parents who are searching for their missing children, the parents who are visiting their children's graves instead of their bedrooms, and parents who are in hospital rooms watching their children suffer, and screaming inside that they can't handle it anymore, and when I kiss you goodnight I will hold you a little tighter, a little longer.
It is then that I will thank God for you, and ask him for nothing, except one more day.
Sally Meyer c. 1999 (For Dhylan)