It happens daily. Each time a report comes out describing firefighters taking hits from elected officials or misguided leaders someone within the fire service defends the actions. It's usually the same old, tired voices but it angers people on the line.
Firefighter Hourly is not part of the good old boy system. Neither are a host of others who desire to see firefighters treated with dignity and respect. Still, in some circles, it's about people being granted most favored status rather than discussing the issues relevant to the fire service.
"Let's be kind" is a fine approach if there is a reasonable chance firefighter safety can be advanced in this way. However, as history teaches us, kindness is not always returned. Consider Chamberlain when he offered "peace in our time" only to face a near disaster on the British Isles. Churchill, long tired of good intentions, stepped in to act.
No one person is Churchill. Instead a group of firefighters decided enough is enough. If our own people can't look out for us we have to look out for ourselves. I've heard this repeated time and again from small and large departments. Enough with the feel good stories. Let's talk about what's wrong so a small group of people can fix it.
There are a thousand ways to look at a mountain. It depends where one is standing. If a large body of people are standing where an avalanche is occurring don't explain to them the mountain is good and fine. Instead find a way to help them avoid being buried. If they want a view of the tranquil side they will seek it out. In short, help or get out of the way.
Firefighters are more important than feelings or being in good graces with the high priests of the fire service.