In the fire service our main concern is safety when approaching any scene and for the duration of the fire fight.
Prior to going anywhere, we spend our days training, trying to purchase the best apparatus, personal protective equipment and doing our best to understand any new dangers that may arise. After a fire we gather at the scene to talk about what just happened and on the next duty day, we meet in the classroom to discuss the positives and negatives of the fire. This process helps us grow as a team and become better firefighters.
During our down time at the stations we play practical jokes on each other, share meals, watch our coworkers’ children grow up and basically form a bond that’s hard to describe to those outside of the fire service. But no matter how much fire knowledge we cram into our brains, things still go wrong and unpredictable situations come up. Although rarely discussed, line-of-duty deaths are always in the back of our minds. They don’t happen often, but when they do, they send shock waves throughout the fire service. We are a brotherhood, and it reminds us of our own mortality.
From the Elkhart City Fire Department, our heartfelt thoughts and prayers go out to fallen New Carlisle Fire Chief Jamie Middlebrook, his injured coworker, the entire New Carlisle Fire Department, and all of the family and friends who have been devastated by this tragedy. We know it isn’t easy, but we are family and as families do, we laugh with you your during good times and support you in your grief.
Be strong be positive and never lose sight of the fact that better days are ahead!
Elkhart Fire Department Division Chief