Text from October 10, 2017
Today was another day
Another day at the office. Another end of the day to rest. Another day when each one of us returns home and kisses and hugs the children, the parents, the family.
Another day that could have been tragic, but it wasn’t because it wasn’t the time. The Guardian Angels were very present when a Firetruck from the Paço de Arcos Firefighters fell down a hillside.
According to what is known, there is a wounded person, predictably not serious, but when I write this text the Commander is on his way to be and learn more about our men. I sincerely hope it is not serious.
When it touches us at the door it is even more difficult to understand what is happening with Forest Fires, this year, completely extraordinary in area, intensity and incompetence. Operational and political incompetence. They still don’t understand which way to go …
However, there they are, the Volunteer Firefighters, the mechanics, the bakers, the engineers, the students, the taxi drivers, the parents, the mothers, the children, the uncles, the nephews …
How many? Nobody knows for sure. But while you and I arrive home at the end of a working day, they are running around trying to control a fire. Tired, hungry, dehydrated, sometimes poorly coordinated.
They tell me they are there because they want and even receive money. PURE DEMAGOGY. They go because there is something inside them that cannot be explained. Adventure, adrenaline, the spirit of sacrifice, selflessness to others, sense of duty, humility, and above all commitment. This does not sum up 10% of what it feels like to BE A VOLUNTEER FIREMAN.
Being a VOLUNTEER FIREMAN requires many hours of training, availability to others. It requires many hours lost with the family, with the children, with the parents.
You who come home today, after a day of work, to rest, just think about it … ARE YOU ABLE TO BE A VOLUNTEER FIREMAN?
I am no longer (I am on the reserve), I went for 20 years and now, after a lot of tiredness, a lot of hunger and dehydration, I do, like you, go home to rest and be with my family. The difference is that I think about them daily and before going to bed, in prayers, I ask them to be strong, careful, and never give up. Know why? Because there are many like me, who gave up as much as they liked, and soon there won’t be many more. So, politicians will have to resolve a matter that I have been talking about for 20 years.
Force companions, return home but do not give up.
Reserve Deputy Chief
B.V. Paço de Arcos