A hero at a glance

Smoke showing in the distance as the fire engine draws near

You see the firefighter reaching to fasten his gear
And to look at the firefighter after the job
You see this man and think, "my what a slob!"
On top of his head is that ugly helmet made of leather
That protects him from fire and the coldest of weather
Its bent and deformed. What shape really is true?
It stands as a proud and symbol of the hell he's been through
Covered with ashes, and sweat, ceiling plaster and more
You wonder why he went through that Smokey front door
His facial expressions seemed to have changed in a split second or two
At least a thousand times as he gave that red devil his due
His face showed excitement, determination and fear
Exhaustion and sadness and then even a tear
You might now see him laughing, smiling and joking
But did you see him when he was coughing, gasping and choking?
You squirm as you see the mucus running from his nose
Did you know this man had faced death on the end of his hose?
So as you look at the firefighter with his rake, hose or axe
His beet red face or ice covered moustache
You should know why he goes through that Smokey front door
And is forced to crawl like a baby down on the floor
He does it to save both lives and property
All that is precious to you and me
So take a good look at this modern warrior who serves his call proud and true
And know that he would die just to save me and you

Robert j. Athans

FDNY/rescue Co 3