Fire Fighters Ministry 



"My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.  Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends  You are my friends if you do what I command.  I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not kow his master's business.  Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.  You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit -- fruit that will last.  Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name.  This is my command:  Love each other."   (Jesus speaking in the gospel of John 15:13-17).











Firefighters Creed

When I'm called to duty God, Wherever flames may rage

Give me strength to save a life Whatever be it's age

Help me to embrace a little child Before it is to late

Or save an older person from The horror of that fate

Enable me to be alert To hear the weakest shout

And quickly and efficiently To put the fire out

I want to fill my calling and To give the best in me

To guard my neighbor and Protect his property

And if according to your will I have to lose my life

Bless with your protecting hand My children and my wife







Women in the Fire Service, Inc.

Women FIrefighters

Women at Ground Zero

A Firefighters Pledge

I promise concern for others.
A willingness to help all those in need.
I promise courage - courage to face an conquer my fears.
Courage to share and endure the ordeal of those who need me.
I promise strength - strength of heart to bear whatever burdens
might be placed upon me.
Strength of body to deliver to safety all those placed within my care.
I promise the wisdom to lead, the compassion to comfort,
and the love to serve unselfishly whenever I am called




Fireman's Wife

The table's set, The meal's prepared, Our guests will soon arrive.

My husband once more disappears with a hope of keeping a child alive

While waiting at home again alone, Our plans having gone awry

My first impulse is merely to sit down and cry.

But soon again I realize the importance of my life

When I agreed to take on the duties of being a fireman's wife

While there are many drawbacks, I'll take them in my stride

The gusting winds and raging flames may be his final fate,

But with God's help I can remain my fireman's faithful mate.




A Fireman's Son

MY DAD'S A FIREMAN, and proud am I, indeed,
For he is someone special, whose wisdom I still need.
Dad and I are buddies and, to me, that means a lot,
A bond to last forever, with love that forms the knot.
He took me to parades, when other kids stayed home,
And he taught me how to play baseball, on a field without a dome.  He showed me how to fix things, even let me use his tools.  What I learned from Dad ~ they don't teach in schools.  The examples that he set, I follow everyday.  Placing God and Country first, in showing me the way.
Precious are those years, now tucked away with time,
Tenderly remembered: I, as the leaf ~ He, as the vine.
Dad, hear me as I say, "I love you", man-to-man,
And, I'm proud to tell the world, MY DAD'S A FIREMAN.

-Author Unknown










National Fallen Firefighters Chapel


National Fallen Firefighters Monument

I Wish You Could
I wish you could see 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.

I wish you could know 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.

I wish you could comprehend a wife's horror at 3 A.M. as I check her husband of forty years for a pulse and find none. I start CPR anyway, hoping against hope to bring him back, knowing intuitively it is too late. But wanting his wife and family to know everything possible was done.

I wish you could know 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 crackling, and the eeriness of being able to see absolutely nothing in dense smoke--"sensations that I have becomed too familiar with."

I wish you could understand how it feels to go to school in the morning after having spent most of the night, hot and soaking wet at a multiple alarm fire.

I wish you could read 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 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?'

I wish you could be 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.

I wish you could know 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 our arrival will be, "It took you forever to get here!"

I wish you could read 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, HAT IN HAND?'

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

I wish you could know how it feels dispatching officers, firefighters and EMT's out and when we call for them and our heart drops because no one answers back or to here a bone chilling 911 call of a child or wife needing assistance.

I wish you could feel my hurt as people verbally, and sometimes physically, abuse us or belittle what I do, or as they express their attitudes of, "It will never happen to me."

I wish you could realize 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.

I wish you could know 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.

I wish you could understand what it feels like to have a little boy tugging on your 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.

Unless you have lived 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.


-Randell Broadwater, Firefighter/EMT-A
Some lines written by
Jason Kopacko


The Brotherhood
The brotherhood of Firemen runs deep in all our veins.
We love this job with all our hearts and our brothers just the same.
Although we have our little fights and disagreements at the station house.
When one of us is in need our brothers are there to help.
The brotherhhod is strong and true and consumes our very soul.
We will be brothers till the end, this vowel I do bestow.




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

And the Lord said "Have you read the specification of this person? Firefighters have to be able to go for hours fighting fires or tending to a person that the usual every day person would never touch, while putting in the back of their mind 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." "It's not the 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 model?" asked the angel.The Lord nodded. "One pair that sees 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 that 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 and 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. "It 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 themselves. This Firefighter also has 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?" asked the angel.

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

'No," said the Lord, "I didn't put it there!"

I Guess that's why we hear people say, after responding to a call

"Thank GOD for Firefighters"










The History of Volunteer Firefighting


Volunteer fire departments have been around for a long time. Where did they originate and who started them?

The man who established the first volunteer fire department also invented bifocals, wrote and printed Poor Richard’s Almanack, studied electricity and helped draft the Declaration of Independence. His name was Benjamin Franklin. The first volunteer fire department began in Philadelphia in 1736.

Ben Franklin moved to Philadelphia from Boston at the age of eighteen. Boston had been greatly affected by fire. The city of Boston experienced major fires in 1653 and 1676. After the fire in 1676, Boston purchased a London pumper. The city then hired Thomas Atkins and twelve other men to fight fires. These were the first paid firefighters in the United States. In 1711, another major fire occurred in Boston. One hundred ten families lost their homes. At the age of six Benjamin Franklin witnessed this fire. Concerned citizens banded together and formed The Mutual Fire Societies in 1711. When fire struck a member of the Mutual Fire Society, other members of the club rushed to help battle the blaze. Each society had approximately twenty members. Dennis Smith stated the following: “The Mutual Fire Societies became social as well as protective associations, setting a pattern for organized volunteer firefighting groups, which would one day be the backbone of firefighting in America and would dominate it for a century and a half.”

In 1682, the city of Philadelphia was founded by William Penn. When determining where to locate the city Penn gave careful thought to the dangers of fire. He had witnessed the London fire in 1666 and did not want Philadelphia to suffer the same fate. To reduce the possibility of fire, a fire ordinance in Philadelphia in 1696 required chimney cleaning. Philadelphia also had a large number of brick buildings that made it less susceptible to fire.

In 1718, Philadelphia bought its first engine. It was named The Shag Rag but it was not put into service until 1730 when Philadelphia had a fire that destroyed much of the commercial district along the river. The Shag Rag was no match for the conflagration because it only produced a trickle of water. In the twelve years the city owned it no one had maintained it. Ben Franklin urged the city to get better organized to fight fires. Shortly thereafter the city bought four hundred fire buckets, twenty ladders and hooks and two additional engines.

In 1733, Ben Franklin often wrote about the dangers of fire and the need for organized fire protection in his newspaper The Pennsylvania Gazette. Ben Franklin was familiar with Boston’s Mutual Fire Societies which were also known as “Fire Clubs.” But the “Fire Clubs” existed for the protection of its members, not the community at large. Collins wrote that [Ben Franklin] “wanted organizations that would battle all fires, regardless of whose property was burning.”

After an extensive fire in Philadelphia in 1736, Franklin created a fire brigade called The Union Fire company with 30 volunteers. The first full-fledged volunteer firefighter in America was Isaac Paschall. The idea of volunteer fire brigades gained popularity. Not wanting more than 30-40 men per company, additional companies were formed in Philadelphia. Some of them were: The Fellowship, Hand-in-Hand and Heart-in-Hand, and Friendship Companies. Each of the companies paid for their own equipment and located it throughout town at strategic places. Most early fire companies in Philadelphia and other cities had professionals, wealthier merchants and tradespeople serving in the volunteer fire department. These citizens were able to afford to purchase equipment and pay fines for missing meetings and fires.

Some famous Americans who served as volunteer firefighters were: George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, Samuel Adams, John Hancock, Paul Revere, Alexander Hamilton, John Jay, John Barry, Aaron Burr, Benedict Arnold, James Buchanan and Millard Fillmore also served as volunteer firemen.

In 1818, women began serving as volunteer firefighters. The first recorded female volunteer was Molly Williams, a black slave who belonged to a New York merchant, Benjamin Aymar of Oceanus No. 11. Paul Ditzel in Fire Engines, Firefighters provided the following information: “Molly was a very distinguished volunteer of No. 11 Engine. She used to be called ‘Volunteer No. 11.’” Molly fought fires wearing a calico dress and checked apron. During a blizzard in 1818, she helped drag the engine to the scene of a fire. She always told those who asked, “‘I belongs to ole ‘Leven; I allers runs wid dat ole bull-gine.’”

In 1820, Marina Betts served as a volunteer in Pittsburgh and claimed she never missed an alarm during her ten years as a firefighter. Paul Ditzel stated: “Betts became famous for dumping buckets of water over male bystanders who refused to help fight fires.”

Lillie Hitchcock, a resident of San Francisco, was America’s most famous female firefighter. She worked with Knickbocker Engine Company No. 5 beginning in 1851. According to Frederick J. Bowlen’s account, one day on the way to a fire there were not enough men to pull the engine for the Knickerbocker Company. Not only that but when the Knickerbocker Company’s engine was passed by the Manhattan No. 2 and Howard No. 3 on the way to a fire, the men received humiliating remarks from the other firefighters. Fifteen year-old Lillie Hitchcock saw their plight and dashed to the vacant spot on the rope. Pulling with all her might she shouted to the bystanders, “Come on, you men! Everybody pull and we’ll beat them!” This teenage socialite began attending fires and the company gave her an honorary membership. Even after her marriage to Howard Coit she was still interested in firefighting. As time passed she no longer followed the engine to fires but she visited many an injured firefighter and sent flowers when firemen died in the line of duty. Her estate provided funds to build a monument to honor volunteer firefighters.

Before 1850 no city in the United States had fully paid, full-time firefighters. Volunteer firefighters played and continue to play an invaluable role in protecting lives and property.


The History of Calling 9-1-1

FFRS Associate -- Missouri, USA

How does someone summon firefighters to battle a blaze? They locate a phone and dial 9-1-1, but it wasn’t always possible to do this.

For many years someone screamed “Fire!” and bystanders responded. Then night watchmen and town criers on duty sounded the alarm. Often church bells or the bells of the town hall building would chime to alert the community to an emergency.

In 1852, the first fire alarm telegraph system was installed in Boston. Invented by William F. Channing, the system consisted of three box circuits, forty boxes, sixteen alarm bells and a crude central office apparatus. John Nelson Gamewell envisioned the potential fire alarm boxes had and in a short time cornered 95% of the market for the alarm systems. To reduce false alarms many communities locked the fireboxes. Nearby merchants or residents held keys to the boxes. Valuable time was wasted while the key was located. In 1875, Charles Tooker tried to address this difficulty. He patented a “keyless” fire alarm box, which rang a loud bell when the door was opened. However, using this box required a two-step process. Opening the box and then pulling the hook located inside to transmit the alarm. In the heat of the moment many people mistook the sound emitted when they opened the door as all that was needed to communicate a fire existed. Thus, many lives and buildings were lost due to this false assumption.

The invention of the telephone in 1876 created a new avenue for communication. As time progressed each community issued a separate seven-digit phone number for the public service agencies including the police, fire department and local hospital. In some metropolitan areas there might be over 200 numbers for public agencies. Frequently, people simply dialed “0” to contact the operator but confusion often caused delays as the operator sought to contact the appropriate agency.

In 1963, Perry Township Volunteer Fire Chief Conway was frustrated when the nearby Evansville, Indiana Fire Department received a call that the volunteer fire department was ready and able to perform. At that time in his area the telephone operators simply directed all calls to the Evansville Fire Department. Conway wanted to make everyone aware of the services of the Perry Township Volunteer Fire Department. He devised pressure-sensitive red fluorescent stickers with the emergency number for the fire department. These labels fit in telephone cradles. These were distributed to all residents and businesses in Perry Township. From then on the Perry Fire Department never failed to receive an alarm. Neighboring volunteer fire departments heard about the stickers and ordered their own. Soon Conway was advertising them in state and national fire publications. Orders poured in.

A universal phone number for emergencies was a concept that originated in Europe. In 1958, Congress requested a universal emergency phone number. Finally, in 1967, the United States the President’s Commission of Law Enforcement and the Administration of Justice provided a recommendation for a universal emergency number. In 1968, The American Telephone and Telegraph Company (AT & T) announced that 9-1-1 was available as a national emergency number. Emergency calls would no longer be answered by telephone operators but would be transferred to public safety agencies.

9-1-1 was developed to increase public access to the police, fire and medical emergency services. Local governments began implementing the use of 9-1-1 in 1968. The communities worked with their telephone companies to establish the use of the emergency number in their area.

The first 9-1-1 call was made in 1968 in Haleyville, Alabama one week after the United States Congress authorized 9-1-1 as the national emergency number. Bob Gallagher, President of the Alabama Telephone Company stated, “My father, John Gallagher, was Fire Chief in Huntington, WV in 1968. He was the motivation for my desire to be first.” Haleyville, a community of 4,500 residents, was selected by the small independent phone company because its existing equipment could be more easily converted to serve the emergency line. Robert Fitzgerald, an inside plant manager for this company, designed the circuitry for the first 911 system and participated in its installation. According to Gallagher, Bill Frey served as the local manager of the Haleyville office in 1968 but he was not involved in any part of the 911 conversion. Gallagher made all the arrangements with the officials for the first call. On February 16, 1968, Rankin Fite, the Alabama Speaker of the House made a 9-1-1 call to U. S. Representative Tom Bevill. Bevill picked up the bright red phone at the police station and answered the call. The two greeted each other, hung up and “had coffee and doughnuts.”

Within three years, the first city to undertake the use of 9-1-1 was New York City. In 1972, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) recommended that 9-1-1 should be put into operation nationwide. While 9-1-1 was a phone number available nationwide individual communities responded to it. Until a community supervised 9-1-1 in their area the use of the number was unavailable. In 1977, 600 systems were using 9-1-1 and nearly 100 new services were being added annually. However, the majority of the residents with access to 9-1-1 lived in urban areas and only 30% of the total U.S. population could summon help by dialing 9-1-1. In 1994, 75% of the population could dial 9-1-1 to seek help.

The goal now is to provide enhanced 9-1-1 service. Enhanced service determines the telephone number and location of the caller. The first community with a fully enhanced 9-1-1 system was in Orange County, Florida. Their service was in operation in 1980.


 Web Page:


At: 'Women of Ministry / Women of Faith'   INTERNATIIOAL 





Rev. Lin McGee       

111 Marshall St.   Winsted, CT   06098       Phone 860-379-1298



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Patriot Guard Riders

Connecticut Patriot Guard Riders 

Missing In America Project

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