As the wife of a firefighter, I can no longer sit silently and listen to the public and the media trash my husband’s profession. These public servants work 24-hour shifts and sometimes are away from their family for 48 hours, 96 hours, and even two weeks at a time. They may work Christmas, Thanksgiving, and their kids’ birthdays. The sleep deprivation is huge—they are often up three or four times after midnight to run calls and, if lucky, steal two or three hours of sleep a night, if at all. They are exposed to very stressful situations that most people will never encounter in their lifetime: diseases, infections, death, gangs, violence, crazy people, depressing situations, domestic abuse, child abuse, and toxic chemicals.
These women and men run into a burning building while you are running out. Their pay and benefits reflect the risks they take on a daily basis. They could literally go to work and never come home. Before the media reports on one more firefighter or police officer being paid too much, please do your homework.
Put yourselves in their shoes. Their job takes a big toll on their body, their mind, and their families. Someday, they could risk their life to save yours.