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Above is an excellent video posted to YouTube Wednesday from the Ontario Professional Fire Fighters Association (OPFFA). It has some very nice comments in it from citizens telling us what they think about firefighters and some stories about their interactions with firefighters. It’s all stuff you would hope to hear from the public about you and your fellow firefighters. But is it reality?
The comments are the type of things that were heard right after the attacks of September 11th. But since then that universal love for firefighters has been in hiding just a bit. While many of you still, at times, hear these wonderful comments, in recent years there has also been an extremely negative tone. Much of it has to do with the economy, but at other times high profile negative stories, many of them self-inflicted wounds, help bring out the haters.
I worry that there is danger with videos like these that firefighters will delude themselves that all is good and they don’t have to do anything to maintain that relationship with the people they serve (I sound like Dr. Phil). But I see two very good things from a video like this. It helps remind the public what it is they admire about the firefighters in their community and it is provides a goal for fire departments and firefighters to reach.