Firefighter Poems

The Fireman Poem | I Want To Tell You Lies | A Fireman's Wish | Creation of the Firefighter | Daddy's Day at School | Cowboy in a Hardhat| Links to other poems

The Fireman Poem

My father was a fireman.
He drove a big red truck
and when he'd go to work each day
he'd say "Mother wish me luck".

Then Dad would not come home again
'til some time the next day.
But the thing that bothered me the most
was the thing's some folks would say.

"A fireman's life is easy,
he eats and sleeps and plays,
and sometimes he won't fight a fire
for days and days and day's".

When I first heard these words
I was too young to understand
but I knew when people had trouble
Dad was there to lend a hand.

Then my father went to work one day
and he kissed us all goodbye
but little did we realize
that night we all would cry.

My father lost his life that night
when the floor gave way below,
I wondered why he'd risked his life
for someone he did not know.

But now I truly realize
the greatest gift a man can give
is to lay his life upon the line
so that someone else might live.

So as we go from day to day
and we pray to God above,
say a prayer for your local Firemen.
They may save the one's you love.

Author unknown

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I Want to Tell You Lies

I want to tell that little boy, his Mom will be just fine.
I want to tell that dad, we got his daughter out in time.
I want to tell that wife, her husband will be home tonight.
I don't want to tell it like it is...
I want to tell them lies.

You didn't put their seat belts on, you feel you killed your kids.
I want to say you didn't...but in a way you did.
You pound your fists into my chest, your hurting so inside.
I want to say you'll be ok...
I want to tell you lies.

You left chemicals within his reach and now it's in his eyes.
I want to say your son will see, not tell you he'll be blind.
You ask me if he'll be ok, with pleading in your eyes.
I want to say that yes he will...
I want to tell you lies.

I can see you're crying as your life goes up in smoke.
If you'd maintained that smoke alarm, your children may have woke.
Don't grab my arm and ask me if your family is alive.
Don't make me tell you they're all dead...
I want to tell you lies.

I want to say she'll be ok, you didn't take her life.
I hear you say you love her and you'd never hurt your wife.
You thought you didn't drink too much, you thought that you could drive.
I don't want to say how wrong you were...
I want to tell you lies

You only left her for a moment, it happens all the time.
How could she have fell from there? You thought she couldn't climb.
I want to say her neck's not broke, that she will be just fine.
I don't want to she's paralyzed...
I want to tell you lies.

I want to tell this teen his buddies didn't die in vain.
Because he thought that it'd be cool to try to beat the train.
I don't want to tell him this will haunt him all his life.
I want to say that he'll forget...
I want to tell him lies.

You left the cabinet open and your daughter found the gun.
Now you want me to undo the damage that's been done.
You tell me she's your only child, you say she's only five.
I don't want to say she won't see six...
I want to tell you lies.

He fell into the pool when you just went to grab the phone.
It was only for a second that you left him there alone.
If you let the phone ring perhaps your boy would be alive.
But I don't want to tell you that...
I want to tell you lies.

The fact that you were speeding caused that car to overturn.
And we couldn't get them out of there before the whole thing burned.
Did they suffer? Yes, they suffered, as they slowly burned alive.
But I don't want to say those words...
I want to tell you lies.

But I have to tell it like it is, until my shift is through.
And then the real lies begin, when I come home to you.
You ask me how my day was, and I say it was just fine.
I hope you understand, sometimes...
I have to tell you lies.

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A Fireman's Wish

the sadness of a business man as his livelihood goes up in flames
or that family returning home,
only to find their house and belongings damaged or destroyed.

what it is to search a burning bedroom for trapped children,
flames rolling above your head, your palms and knees burning as you crawl,
the floor sagging under your weight as the kitchen beneath you burns.

a wife's horror at 3 am as I check her husband of fourty years for a pulse and find none.
I start CPR anyway, hoping against the odds to bring him back,
knowing intuitively it is too late.
But wanting his wife and family to know everything possible was done.

the unique smell of burning insulation, the taste of soot-filled mucus,
the feeling of intense heat through your turnout gear, the sound of flames crakling,
and the eeriness of being able to see absolutely nothing in dense smoke.
Sensations that I have become too familiar with.

how it feels to go to work in the morning after having spent most of the
night, hot and soaking wet at a multiple alarm fire.

my mind as I respond to a building fire, 'Is this a false alarm or a working, breathing fire?
How is the building constructed? What hazards await me?
Is anyone trapped or are they all out?'
or to an EMS call, 'What is wrong with the patient?
Is it minor or life-threatening? Is the caller really in distress
or is he waiting for us with a 2X4 or a gun?'

in the emergency room as the doctor pronounces dead the beautiful little
five-year old girl that I have been trying to save during the past twenty-five
minutes, who will never go on her first date or say the words,
"I love you Mommy," again.

the frustration I feel in the cab of the engine, the driver with his foot
pressing down hard on the pedal, my arm tugging again and again at the
air horn chain, as you fail to yield right-of-way at an intersection or
in traffic. When you need us, however, your first comment upon arrival
will be, "It took you forever to get here!"

my thoughts as I help extricate a girl of teenage years from the mangled remains
of her automobile, 'What if this were my sister, my girlfriend, or a friend?
What were her parents' reactions going to be
as they open the door to find a police officer?'

how it feels to walk in the back door and greet my parents and family,
not having the heart to tell them that I nearly did not come home from
this last call.

my hurt as people verbally, and sometimes physically
abuse us or belittle what we do, or as they express their attitudes of,
'It will never happen to me.'

the physical, emotional, and mental drain of missed meals, lost sleep, and
forgone social activities, in addition to all the tragedy my eyes have viewed.

the brotherhood and self-satisfaction of helping save a life or preserving someone's
property, of being there in times of crisis, or creating order from total CHAOS.

what it feels like to have a little boy tugging on you arm and asking,
"Is my Mommy O.K.?" Not even being able to look in his eyes without
tears falling from your own and not knowing what to say. Or to have to hold
back a long-time friend who watches his buddy having rescue breathing done on him as
they take him away in the ambulance. You knowing all along he
did not have his seat belt on.
Sensations that I have become too familiar with.

this kind of life, you will never truly understand or appreciate
who I am, what we are, or what our job really means to us.


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Creation of the Firefighter

When the Lord was creating firefighters, he was into his sixth day of overtime when an angel appeared and said, "You're doing a lot of fiddling around on this one."

And the Lord said, "Have you read the specification on this person? Firefighters have to be able to go for hours fighting fires or tending to a person that the usual everyday person would never touch, while putting in the back of their minds the circumstances. They have to be able to move at a second's notice and not think twice of what they are about to do, no matter what danger. They have to be in top physical condition at all times, running on half-eaten meals, and they must have six pairs of hands."

The angel shook her head slowly and said, "Six pairs of way."

"It's not their hands that are causing me problems," said the Lord, "it's the three pairs of eyes a firefighter has to have."

"That's on the standard mode?" asked the angel.

The Lord nodded. "One pair to see through the fire and where they and their fellow firefighters should fight the fire next. Another pair here in the side of the head to see their fellow firefighters and keep them safe. And another pair of eyes in the front so that they can look for the victims caught in the fire who need their help."

"Lord," said the angel, touching his sleeve, "rest and work on this tomorrow."

"I can't," said the Lord, "I already have a model that can carry a 250-pound man down a flight of stairs to safety from a burning building, and can feed a family of five on a civil service paycheck."

The angel circled the model of the firefighter very slowly, "Can it think?"

"You bet," said the Lord. "They can tell you the elements of a hundred fires and can recite procedures in their sleep that are needed to care for a person until they reach the hospital. And all the while they have to keep their wits about the. Fire fighters also have phenomenal personal control. They can deal with a scene full of pain and hurt, coaxing a child's mother into letting go of the child so that they can care for the child in need. And still they rarely get the recognition for a job well done from anybody, other than from fellow firefighters."

Finally, the angel bent over and ran her finger across the cheek of the firefighter, "There's a leak," she pronounced. "Lord, it's a tear. What's the tear for?"

"It's a tear from bottled-up emotions for fallen comrades. A tear for commitment to that funny piece of cloth called the American flag. It's a tear for all the pain and suffering they have encountered. And it's a tear for their commitment to caring for and saving lives of their fellow man!"

"What a wonder feature. Lord, you're a genius," said the angel.

The Lord looked somber and said, "I didn't put it there."

Author Unknown

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Daddy's Day at School

Her hair was up in a ponytail
Her favorite dress tied with a bow.
Today was Daddy's Day at school,
And she couldn't wait to go.

But her mommy tried to tell her,
That she probably should stay home.
Why the kids might not understand,
If she went to school alone.

But she was not afraid;
She knew just what to say.
What to tell her classmates
Of why he wasn't there today.

But still her mother worried,
For her to face this day alone.
And that was why once again,
She tried to keep her daughter home.

But the little girl went to school,
Eager to tell them all.
About a dad she never sees
A dad who never calls.

There were daddies along the wall in back,
For everyone to meet.
Children squirming impatiently,
Anxious in their seats.

One by one the teacher called,
A student from the class.
To introduce their daddy,
As seconds slowly passed.

At last the teacher called her name,
Every child turned to stare.
Each of them was searching,
For a man who wasn't there.

"Where's her daddy at?"
She heard a boy call out.
"She probably doesn't have one,"
Another student dared to shout.

And from somewhere near the back,
She heard a daddy say,
"Looks like another deadbeat dad,
Too busy to waste his day."

The words did not offend her,
As she smiled up at her Mom.
And looked back at her teacher,
Who told her to go on.

And with hands behind her back,
Slowly she began to speak.
And out from the mouth of a child,
Came words incredibly unique.

"My Daddy couldn't be here,
Because he lives so far away.
But I know he wishes he could be,
Since this is such a special day.

And though you cannot meet him,
I wanted you to know.
All about my daddy,
And how much he loves me so.

He loved to tell me stories
He taught me to ride my bike.
He surprised me with pink roses,
And taught me to fly a kite.

We used to share fudge sundaes,
And ice cream in a cone.
And though you cannot see him,
I'm not standing here alone.

Cause my daddy's always with me,
Even though we are apart
I know because he told me,
He'll forever be in my heart"

With that, her little hand reached up,
And lay across her chest.
Feeling her own heartbeat,
Beneath her favorite dress.

And from somewhere in the crowd of dads,
Her mother stood in tears.
Proudly watching her daughter,
Who was wise beyond her years.

For she stood up for the love
Of a man not in her life.
Doing what was best for her,
Doing what was right.

And when she dropped her hand back down,
Staring straight into the crowd.
She finished with a voice so soft,
But its message clear and loud.

"I love my daddy very much,
He's my shining star.
And if he could, he'd be here,
But heaven's just too far.

You see he was a fireman
And died just this past year
When airplanes hit the towers
And taught Americans to fear.

But sometimes when I close my eyes,
It's like he never went away."
And then she closed her eyes,
And saw him there that day.

And to her mother's amazement,
She witnessed with surprise.
A room full of daddies and children,
All starting to close their eyes.

Who knows what they saw before them,
Who knows what they felt inside.
Perhaps for merely a second,
They saw him at her side.

"I know you're with me Daddy,"
To the silence she called out.
And what happened next made believers,
Of those once filled with doubt.

Not one in that room could explain it,
For each of their eyes had been closed.
But there on the desk beside her,
Was a fragrant long-stemmed pink rose.

And a child was blessed, if only for a moment,
By the love of her shining bright star.
And given the gift of believing,
That heaven is never too far.

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Cowboy in a Hardhat

There's a fire on the mountain
There's a a fire in the town
There's flames across the prairie
Seems the whole world's burnin' down

There's terror in my horse's eye
An' mine are wild and white
'Cause the devil's slingin' fireballs
An' it feels like hell tonight

An' we're cryin' for the cavalry
We're prayin' for the rain
'Cause this place is dry and tinder
Like as not we'll build again

But I turned loose all the critters
Wife an' kids are in the truck
Seems we been run out of Dodge
An' we sure run out of luck

Then through the wild inferno
There rides a hero band
On their big red fire wagons
An' lord, they've come to make a stand

They look the devil in the eye
Boys, it's do or die tonight
Says a cowboy in a hardhat
Come to set things right

The cowboy in the hardhat
Shakes out a loop of hose
He may be spittin' in th ewind
But seems this cowboy knows

The odds are stacked agin' him
An' all that's in the path
But it's something that he's born to
To take on nature's wrath

Then the flames take on a hunger
And it seems he'll be consumed
But singed and sooty he fights on
No thought of death or doom

As the conflagration darts and ebbs
Then comes in waves again
But the cowboy in the hardhat
Is not like other men

Who merely do the possible
To hold what's in their grasp
He reaches deep within himself
And finds the strength to last

Beyond the tresholds mortals keep
Within the lines and odds
He'll stop the devil in his dance
Upheld by greater gods

Then through the soot and cinder
The ashes and the steam
My home stands firmly founded
'Mid the smoke as in a dream

Then the heroes mount their wagons
An' pull their hard hats down
No time for praise or gratitude
For the fire still burns in town

But we'll remember when it's o'er
And take the time to tell
Of the cowboy in the hardhat
Who quenched the fires of hell

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Links to Other Firefighter Poems

MSN Groups - Firefighter's Wives
On Highway 109
Firefighter Poems
Prayers and Poems
A Fireman's Prayer
Poems and Prayers for and About Firefighters