In the days following the fire that devastated the Blairmore Best Canadian Motor Inn, I have heard a great deal of talk throughout the community commending the hard work of the Blairmore and Coleman Fire Departments in extinguishing the blaze.
At the same time, for every five to 10 people who speak positively of the work of the fire crews, there is one person making disparaging comments about these men and the work they did.
I do not claim to be the sort of person with any authority or insight into the tactics and procedures of emergency service responders, and to the extent of my knowledge, neither are any of the individuals I have observed making these comments.
This is infuriating and unacceptable to me.
Not only do I think we should reserve judgment regarding matters we have no knowledge of, more than anything I think we should have appreciation for the incredibly difficult tasks and daunting responsibilities that volunteer fire fighters undertake on a daily basis.
Having grown up knowing men who volunteered on community fire departments and now, in my adult years, having friends and family members who endeavour the same, I have nothing but respect and admiration for anyone who would give up their time and risk their life to ensure the safety of other people, especially strangers.
I am greatly bothered by those who criticize the work of police officers and fire fighters as long as they are not calling on their services.
During the Kienan Hebert abduction, BC RCMP were criticized relentlessly by everyone and their dog, including the media and the public at large.
The fact is, the RCMP are far more qualified to make crucial judgment calls than we could ever hope to be.
If we were, we would be the ones wearing the uniform.
The same goes for fire fighters – if you think you have any more insight into the actions and tactics that should be undertaken in such a situation, I implore you to join the volunteer fire department and prove it.
Be the one who risks their life to save someone else’s or their property.
Until you are willing to do that, kindly keep your ignorant opinions and delusions of grandeur in check.