Thoughts Of a Retired Firefighter
No, I haven’t forgotten the excitement of riding on a fire rig, “lights flashing, sirens wailing,” nor the feeling of a “good save! Whether it be human life or valued possessions of a fellow citizen.
I haven’t forgotten the feeling of standing, ankle deep, in freezing water on a 5 below January night, gloves frozen to the nozzle, fighting a fire I know was caused by carelessness or worse.
I haven’t forgotten the terror of being lost in a smoke filled building…feeling the taste of hot coffee and a cold meat loaf sandwich at four in the morning.
Now, I walk into my old firehouse, only to find it filled with strangers. I may not walk as fast, or stand as straight as you. My hair may be gray or thin. My jokes don’t come as easy as they once did. But I know in my heart that I have paid the price, and have “earned” the right to say proudly
“I’m a retired firefighter.”
Retired Battalion Chief Joe Carber
Fire Department City of New York
Joining forces with other municipal organizations, including the New York State Alliance, The United Retired Firefighters, and the National 10-13 Group, we have fought hard to retain and improve the retirement benefits these members so richly deserve.
The Association has taken many other steps to better the quality of life for its members. Brotherhood programs such as low cost insurance, medical assistance polices, a benevolent fund for “non-line of duty” widows and other worthy community projects.