There has been so much talk recently about things like containing costs, lowering taxes, and those who work in public safety being overpaid - particularly firefighters - that it could make your head spin. We've all done the "simple math," crunched the numbers, and it all seems to boil down to a simple question. What are firefighters worth?
I guess that depends. We live in a country that seems to have forgotten what our priorities are. A man can be a skilled athlete who happens to throw and catch a football well, and make millions and millions of dollars to do so. And we as a society are not only OK with that, but we gather in front of our televisions and cheer that man on. Meanwhile, a firefighter kisses his children goodbye before every shift knowing the harsh reality that it very well could be the last time he will see them, and he is fighting tooth and nail for decent health coverage and substantial pay to support those children.
He is the man that you call when your elderly father has a stroke. He is the person that will extract your 16-year-old son from a mangled vehicle on the highway in the middle of the night. He is the person that will be there in a heartbeat when your newborn infant stops breathing. He is the person who is exposed to countless dangerous scenarios and has seen horrific things during his career that would psychologically haunt most of us for the rest of our lives. We trust him to save our homes and belongings in the event of a disastrous fire, and we trust him to keep us breathing and our hearts beating when we face our most critical moments. What is he worth to you?