I am often asked about the brotherhood or bond between firefighters. What is it? For me the brotherhood is something you not only feel, you see it and live it. It is something that is really hard to describe until you have lived it. I believe it to be a bond you form with your brothers and sisters running calls day in and day out. Brotherhood is something that is earned, you don’t get it by simply getting a job or becoming a volunteer somewhere.

It is something that transcends the lines of your department. How many people do you know that go visit a local factory when they are on vacation just to say hello. That too is part of the brotherhood. It is nice to talk to firefighters from other states and cities. It is an understanding or common shared respect that the calls are for the most part all the same from area to area, just more or less depending on the size of the department. Brotherhood is shaking the hand of a stranger and knowing that there is an immediate bond.

A few weeks ago my department suffered the loss of one of our retired fire Captains. He had been retired for 20 years, some of us older guys had worked with him and of course our newer guys hadn’t. The entire department was present at the funeral, his casket was hauled on one of our antique trucks. At the family’s request all pallbearers were firefighters. This my friends is brotherhood, that day his family finally go to see what he had understood for years. There is an unspoken bond between us, it does exist. I can’t quite explain it but it is there.

So for all my brothers and sisters out there reading this. Be safe, and watch out for each other. We all go home!

Until next time,

Captain K