STATEN ISLAND N.Y. DIVISION
Thoughts of a Retired Firefighter
No, I have not forgotten the excitement of riding on a fire rig, "lights flashing, sirens nor the feeling of a "good save! Whether it be human life or valued possessions of a fellow citizen.
I have not forgotten the feeling of standing, ankle deep, in freezing water on a five below January night, gloves frozen to the nozzle, fighting a fire I know was caused by carelessness or worse.
I have not forgotten the terror of being lost in a smoke filled building...feeling the taste of hot coffee and a cold meat loaf sandwich at four in the morning.
Now, I walk into my old firehouse, only to find it filled with strangers. I may not walk as fast, or stand as straight as you. My hair may be gray or thin. My jokes do not come as easy as they once did. But I know in my heart that I have paid the price, and have "earned" the right to say proudly
"I'm a retired firefighter."
Ret. Battalion Chief Joe Carber (Deceased) Fire Department City of New York