Ukraine Firefighters are true heroes. In my 20 years as a firefighter in the U.S., I was called a “hero” many times. But today I`m humbled, even ashamed that I had once accepted that label.
Seeing the Ukraine firefighters in action in the middle of a war zone amazes me. That gear they`re wearing isn`t bulletproof. It`s the same gear I wore as a firefighter on the streets in America. Those helmets aren`t Kevlar, they`re plastic, just like mine was. Those fire hoses they`re dragging around are no match for a gun, much less a missile.
And I thought we were “brave” back in the 90s when we responded to fires during the riots. We actually wore bulletproof vests and some firefighters even carried guns. We also didn`t go into a fire scene until the cops secured the area. We “staged” blocks away until things were safe. Often, we never even responded to the fire because of the danger. The 911 computers in the firehouses were full of fire calls that nobody was responding to. The city just kept burning.
But not Ukraine firefighters. There they are fighting fires created by rockets fired by the Russian military, rockets intentionally fired to kill civilians — and the firefighters. Those aren`t missed targets. The Russians aren`t that bad of a shot! This is an attack on everyone in Ukraine: women, children, even the firefighters and EMS workers trying to save those victims of the attacks.
Yet, there`s the Ukraine firefighters in the middle of this terror, doing the only thing they always do: saving people.
Remember, Ukraine isn`t a third-world country. They`re just as civilized and advanced as the U.S. These aren`t people who see death and destruction every day. Ukraine firefighters use the typical firefighting equipment we use here in our cities. They`re not equipped to work in a war zone.
I wonder what Chicago or Houston would do if Russia attacked them, since they`re about the same size as Kiev. Can you imagine it? I like to believe that the firefighters in those cities will be true heroes like their counterparts in Ukraine.