Fighting fires is one of the most dangerous jobs you can have. Every day, firefighters put their lives at risk to save people and animals. My brother and I were surprised to learn that 118 firefighers die in the line of duty a year. According to The Red Cross, fires kills more Americans than all natural disasters combined.
Firefighters also deserve thanks because most of them are not even paid for their work. I was shocked to discover that half of all firefighters in America are volunteers. One out of every three people in this country relies on a volunteer fire department to keep them safe. Where we live, in New York City, however, all the firefighters are paid.
I met Harry at Engine 22. He said there are always at least 13 firefighters on duty — even holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas. He said we were fortunate that so far this year, no NYC firefighters have lost their lives in the line of duty. That’s good news.
As a small token of appreciation, my brother and I bought them some donuts. I was lucky that I got out of school earlier than my brother today, but I’m sure Jack would have enjoyed saying thank you in person.
I have always had a strong admiration for firemen. It was one of my first Halloween costumes. My favorite place on the playground was the fireman’s pole.
So it will be an honor to thank our community heroes in some small way this Thanksgiving week.