For those of you that enjoy a wonderful walk down memory lane, firefighter museums are especially for you. The number of museums built with the sole purpose of educating people and memorializing fallen firefighters, has grown drastically in the United States alone, but other countries are also building their own firefighter museums. These are special places to visit and immerse yourself in a different world for a small amount of time. Since most of them are run solely on the goodwill of donors, many of them are quite small, but others have grown and hold important pieces of history in them, telling stories of long forgotten traditions and keeping memories of fallen heroes alive today. Almost all fifty states in the United States have a firefighter’s museum within their home state. These are experiences from our past that beg for attention and remembrance. Preserving the history of such a valiant job with deep roots in each community is only expected, and educating people about it is a necessity. How many of you are able to say you know even a small portion of the history of firefighting? Not many do -- not enough care. Our history, of our nation, is what defines us as the people united together today, and being aware of our past, even in the firefighting industry, could be a piece of us that has been missing. Intertwined together is every small part making up the bigger pieces.
It is up to us to remember the brave men and women that selflessly sacrificed their lives to save others, and their families as well. These family members are not recognized often enough for having been the strength for their firefighters. It takes a strong person, mentally emotionally and physically to be a firefighter and it takes the same kind of person to be their mate. The countless lives lost while responding to calls is more than tripled when your figure into account, the number of family members that lost pieces of their lives and hearts when their firefighter fell. These museums help, even if in a small way, to keep their memories alive, and to proudly proclaim their actions and bravery until the world's end. Heroes are special and should be treated as special people in the eyes of others.
The history of firefighting is a fascinating subject as well, how it evolved over time and grew to be a major occupation today. The tools, equipment and gear has changed quite dramatically just from the 1970's. Where there used to be plain rubber jackets and boots, they now use special hoods of flame resistant material, helmets with specialized face visors, and most importantly, SCBA gear (Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus) for aiding in less smoke inhalation and the breathing in of noxious gasses. As we have seen the improvements made in the firefighting industry from the past to the present, who knows what the future holds? What exciting changes are coming that were not even thought possible all those years ago. Can you imagine what the future will think about our primitive items? That is such a funny thought to think on our fire apparatus as primitive for the future generations.
Locate the nearest firefighter museum to you, visit it and immerse yourself in their world for a short while. You will come away with a new knowledge and understanding of what they encounter in the normal course of their days, as well as a stronger appreciation for the jobs they perform. As we see from the "Fireman's Prayer", at WorldFireDepartment.com, these brave people give so much of themselves, and ask for little in return. Shouldn't we be giving them our support? If you can, make it a day to remember. Maybe you can take a group with you and share the experience. Better yet, take a child with you and show them something that will forever be a wonderful memory to them.