Saturday, July 11, 2015

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words & A Big "Thank You!"

First, I must thank my youngest daughter for a wonderful surprise. We were visiting her in NYC and we went out to lunch. She had wanted me to attend a show, but there was nothing that really called out to me. So, she, her boyfriend and my wife were going to the show after lunch and I was headed back to her apartment via a NYC cab.

After we finished lunch, we started walking so she could show us a couple of sites and, I presumed, to grab my cab. But we kept on walking, crossing this block and that avenue.Finally, she said, "We're here!" I looked around and found myself in front of the FDNY Store! That was the real reason why she shlepped me along. She wanted me to see the store. It was like taking your kid to a Toys 'R Us! So, thank you, my sweet Miryam for helping your Dad enjoy his visit even more!

As we were traveling this past week, I was able to catch snippets of news here and there. Several of the stories dealt with fire departments around the country. A couple were humorous and some very serious. Speaking of serious, it was great to see Fresno CA Captain Dern on television, after undergoing more than a dozen surgeries to treat his 2nd and 3rd degree burns he received when he fell through the roof of a blazing garage! We wish him a speed and full recovery!

I'm not addressing the actual news stories in this post. Rather, I want to talk about the several PIO's that addressed the press after various events. In the first case, the PIO was an older gentleman, with a full head of snow-white hair. Unfortunately, he must have weighed nearly 300 pounds. "Well, he's only a PIO. What are you bitching about?" you may be asking yourself. The viewers have no idea of the difference between a PIO and any other firefighter other than, perhaps, the chief. What they see is a fat fireman.

On another story, the person speaking to the reporter was quite obese and he was a lieutenant, a front line officer. Now, let's add 60 pounds of PPE, gear, tools and some heavy exertion. Hmm?? Any ideas?

We recently discussed the number, "40%," the percentage of FF LODD's that are caused by mostly preventable health problems. Obesity, HTN (hypertension or high-blood pressure, diabetes, asthma, elevated cholesterol levels, etc. are just a few of the causes being listed by those fighting this scourge of the brave men and women who put their lives on the line. 

Listen, we all know that almost anything can, will and has happened on the way to or from a call, and during the call itself. However, for the most part, we can reduce the number of LODD's due to health causes by taking better care of ourselves. When did you take your last CPAT test? Two years, three years, four years ago? Longer? What if on your next duty day your captain tells you that you have two days and will take it again? Can you do it? Can you even do part of it?

None of us can answer for anyone else. The only one you have to answer to is the man/woman in the mirror, because he/she never lies!

So, ready for that test?

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