When the Lord was creating Firefighters, he was into his sixth day of overtime when an angel appeared and said, "Your doing a lot of fiddling around on this one."
And the Lord said "Have you read the specification on this person?
Firefighters have to be able to go for hours fighting fires or tending to a person that the usual every day person would never touch, while putting in the back of their mind the circumstances. They have to be able to move at a seconds notice and not think twice of what they are about to do, no matter what danger. They have to be in top physical condition at all times, running on half-eaten meals, and they must 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 Firefighter has to have."
That's on the standard model? " asked the angel.
The Lord nodded. " One pair that sees through the fire and where they and their fellow Firefighters should fight the fire next. Another pair here in the side of the head to see their fellow Firefighters and keep them safe. And another pair of eyes in the front so that they can look for the victims caught in the fire that need their help."
"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 carry a 250 pound man down a flight of stairs and to safety from a burning building, and can feed a family of five on a civil service paycheck."
The angel circled the model of the Firefighter very slowly, "Can it think?"
"You bet," said the Lord. It can tell you the elements of a hundred fires; and can recite procedures in their sleep that are needed to care for a person until they reach the hospital. And all the while they have to keep their wits about themselves. This Firefighter also has phenomenal personal control. They can deal with a scene full of pain and hurt, coaxing a child's mother into letting go of the child so that they can care for the child in need. And still they rarely get the recognition for a job well done from anybody, other than from fellow Firefighters."
Finally, the angel bent over and ran her finger across the cheek of the Firefighter. "There's a leak", she pronounced.
"Lord, it's a tear."
"What's the tear for?" asked the angel.
"It's a tear from bottled-up emotions for fallen comrades. A tear for commitment to that funny piece of cloth called the American Flag. It's a tear for all the pain and suffering they have encountered. And it's a tear for their commitment to caring for and saving lives of their fellow man!"
"What a wonderful feature Lord, you're a genius" said the angel.
The Lord looked somber and said "I didn't put it there."
Taken from the 50th Anniversary Add Journal 2002
42 years of Scouting
Back Up and Running
Regional Burn Center
June 17, 2022
Information provided by:
National Safety Council
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