ok , this site is great I have found some awsome friends and hope to meet more, question is there a thing as brotherhood or sisterhood , and what does it really mean two u. I thot i new guess i was wrong what do u think?
This thing that you talk about is real. Its not something you can touch, see, or even really explain. It is a way of life, its the actions you make. Its not only in your department, its fireservice wide. Its a group of people, thousands strong. Its been in the building process for hundreds of years and it continues to grow today. This thing isn't just one thing, it encompasses many actions, thoughts and ideas. I will give you just a FEW samples of what I think it is. It's trusting your life to the ff on the line right behind you, it's giving as much to your fellow ff's as you do your own family. It's being hundreds of miles from home in any part of the country and still having family in every town you stop in. I have been from coast to coast and stopped in dozens of stations over the years and believe me EVERY time I do it;s there. BROTHERHOOD/SISTERHOOD is as strong and alive as it's ever been. My suggestion to you is to get out and experience it. When you do you really enjoy it and understand what IT is. This is just one view, I hope you get many more.
My answer is this, To me the brotherhood means that we all share some same thoughts feelings an ideas I have learned like any where there are bad and good people but knowing the person standing next to me no matter who they are has my back is what it all means. I am sure there is someone in your house you dont really like but when on the floor and the devil rolling over your head or when after a bad wreck that person is by your side and you can lean on them and know they have your back. Thats how I feel about all my Brother and sisters here
There most certainly is a brotherhood/sisterhood. I think it goes way beyond knowing that the people I work with have my back at an incident. It means they are there 24/7. In my area it also extends beyond the walls of the fire station to other public safety employees. I know that it's not the case everywhere, but in my area we are very lucky that police, fire and EMS are all very close. Seperate entities, but in the same family. I also think that the brotherhood/sisterhood extends to our family members. Although it is very hard to explain, I'll give you a couple of examples...
On 9/11 I had been working at my job (the one that pays the bills, not the volunteer FD) for less than a month. I still didn't know people too well. One of the women in another department is the wife of a fire chief. At one point during the day she made a special point of coming to me and saying "Are you all right. I know you must be devistated about all the firefighters." and giving me a big hug - something I really needed at that point.
A few years ago we had a horrific call which involved the drowning deaths of 2 children (at the hands of a drunken boater). I had gone with the ambulance that transported one of the children in full cardiac arrest. A short time after returning from the call I found out that the girl was the niece of one of my best friends (the dispatcher who handled the whole call). A couple of days later I ran into a member of our local EMS squad who had not been involved in the call. She made a point of letting me know that if I needed someone to talk to she was there, anytime, day or night.
There is a guy on my department that I have had many philosophical disagreements with. I will gladly debate him until the cows come home... But if you try to publicly say anything bad about him you can bet I will be there to defend him.
These are just a few examples of the Brotherhood/Sisterhood that we are a part of. Give it time, you will understand - it really has to felt, not explained!
My thought on Brotherhood/Sisterhood is simple, "To understand it, You have to be it"! And what I mean is, there isn't just ONE word that can explain what it means, there are thousands. People on the street (a.k.a. Citizens), say "Look at them, they don't do anything except sit down and watch television or sleep"! Yeah of course you have the selected few that appreciate what we do, don't get me wrong. But to be able to look at something, and already know what your partners are thinking without even looking into his/her eyes or talking to him/her, is the true meaning of Brotherhood/Sisterhood. It's the "You cry, I cry." factor. It's the ability to look at him/her and know you have that exstension of family that would go to the grave with you. The fact that you have the comfort of knowing that while running into a fire, you have, not one set of eyes, but several to make sure you and others make it home for the dinner bell. Brotherhood/Sisterhood does not have a true definition, for it's not a word, it's a Culture, and Way of Life.
Travel is a good way to find out,but another example happened here yesterday.A retired FF from Lincoln,Nebraska came cruising up the drive to our working fire scene(barn fire)a very hot turn and burn deal he had the bucket on his tractor loaded with coolers full of cold drinks,watermelon iced down.He just kind of set up his own rehab for us.Myself I consider that Brotherhood that he had been retired since 99 after 35 years of service and still he felt compeled to take care of his extended family.I always have been compeled to stop and at least let command know that I'm there just in case or help out in any way that they need. If you ever find yourself in front of a station in a town away from yours walk in the door introduce yourself to the first person you see my bet is you'll get a welcome that you'll carry in your heart the rest of your days.This thing that we do is not something that we choose to do it chooses us.The ones that choose it don't stay very long.Not just anyone is cut from the cloth it takes to do our calling.It does'nt matter if you are a volunteer or a fulltime FIREFIGHTER it is our way of life and without it life just somehow is not complete.So yes the brotherhood/sisterhood is real,we are all Family around the world.
I feel bad actually that you felt you had to ask. Do you not experience this as well? I am still somewhat new in my large department and even though I am not close with all of those I work with I have experienced this brotherhood repeatedly (I don't mind being called a brother, it's just less to type to stick to one term or the other). I also have made fast friends and when I see these people at functions (those I don't see at work regularly), it's like we've been friends for years, kind of like running into a cousin you haven't seen in a long time. There is just an easiness about the relationship. You have a lot in common before you even open your mouth, so many similar qualities and the same "interesting" sense of humour. It's a nice family, dysfuncional, but nice.
And, if you are ever in need, your brothers have your back. I have never been left out in the cold or left to feel that I have no one to help me or be there for me. I know now that I have almost 1000 new brothers directly around me and thousands and thousands world wide. It's a nice feeling.
I HOPE THAT THE ONES WHO READ THIS AND PUT IN THERE THOTS WILL ALWAYS KNOW WHAT THE WORD BROTHERHOOD AND SISTERHOOD STANDS FOR. I WANT ALL TO FEEL THE SAME PRIDE AS I DO WHEN I PUT ON THE UNIFORM AND RUN THE CALL FOR HELP OR JUST BE THERE TO VOLLY MY TIME. I KNOW ITS THERE AND AM PROUD TO BE PART OF IT. JUST DONT LET US FORGET THE SACRAFICE WE ALL GIVE FOR THE PUBLIC MUST MOST OF ALL EACH OTHER. IT SADDENS ME TO SEE THOSE WHO HAVE FORGOT AND BETRAY THE TRUST OF MANY . GOD BLESS U ALL WE MAKE AMERICA STAND
how about a Ny city career firefighter's 9 year old daughter was ill, and sent to Boston Childrens hospital for an extensive period of time (couple months, for treatment) during the time she was in the hospital, Mom and the other children and Dad between shifts were put up By members of the Boston Fire department, Imagine the xtra cost of Hoteling or renting plus traveling etc.. for the extra time, I was traveling through A northern City stopped for dinner and had planned on going on home, The guy sitting next to me was a career firefighter locally and said he'd noticed my union sticker, asked If I needed a place to crash, I told him I intended on going through and he said too bad, he was off the next day and wanted to show off his city... I decided to stay, the next day he took me around , we spent a few hours talking shop, he is a state instructor in his state and is most likely the best known in his state, a guy wrote a book about his own career on the job and he wrote a chapter about the guy,, seems he is one of those firefighters firefighters we still swap Xmas cards every year, 18 years later, Coming up next week In colorado springs Fallen career firefighters will be remembered , followed by the NFFF in Emittsburg, MD as well In Toronto the Canadian Fallen firefighter memorial is held this month, at each of these events obviously we remember those lost this year and years past but Firefighters from all over North America will attend Firefighters who Play bagpipes and drums FROM all overNorth America will also get together and play with one practice session before the actual events In Colorado, Guys from Massachusetts(5 differant bands) Alabama, Houston, Seattle, Illinois , Arizona California etc etc, will play ....
The daughter of a retired firefighter was diagnosed with Leukemia, she lives in Charlotte NC, Helives in Connecticut, The members of his band wanted to hold a fund raiser for her and traveled to Charlotte , do youknow that the membersof the charlotte FD pipeband volunteered and joined the fund raiser? I can assure you that the members of those two bands will be inseperable for ever after , That is the brotherhood...
Last week 2 Boston firefighters died In a fire "30,000" was the number being thrown around, of Firefighters who traveled from all over to attend the services on thursday and friday , three weeks before that twoNYC firefighters were Killed in a fire I can assure you that St Patricks cathedral couldnt come close to hosting all who attended ...
9 brothers in Charleston SC died two a half months ago and again the service was filled beyond expectations
It might not seem like in rural america that there is as much brotherhood as much, but partof the whole thing is how yourelate to your brother & sister firefighters too...
Big empasis on FAMILY AROUND THE WORLD.
I have met firefighters from many countries, they have the same stories, they have the same sense of brotherhood.
No matter where you go, if you stop into a Firehall, a fire station, a fire department, what ever it is called in that country they will call you a friend.
Any doubts just go to the members page and take a look at how this site has grown in 2 months, then take a look at the forums.If that aint enough to convince ya try reading some of the posts,YES we are FAMILY.