Monday, April 25, 2011

Mutual Aid, a time to call?

Being Firefighters, calling for help can be a very hard thing to do. Should we call that extra Engine, Truck or even Rescue? Alot of Officers feel that by calling for help shows  a sign of weakness or an ill equipped Dept., sorry but a bunch of crap in my opinion. I would rather see rigs moving to help, than getting in a situation where they are needed ASAP!. Equipment can be sent "home", no harm, no foul. Try teling that to a trapped FF or a victim in need. Just like in the FD, asking for help during treatments is a fine line. I have been blessed with a great family and friends that do support me and listen when i need to vent. Do they all hear the same thing? In a word, no. My family, unfortunatley was exposed to the devestation of Cancer as my own Father was taken from us. A great man, who's life was snuffed out way before his time, a pillar in the Church and multiple fraternal organizations. A shame and a waste. My friends and co-workers sometimes don't have a clue. I realize that thier intentions are good, but I have Cancer yes, not a death sentence. I work in retail now and have for the last five plus years. I have customers that know me and are concerned. Yes,I have lost weight (not from the Chemo, but better diet and exercise). Still, I get the questions day in, day out. Sorry, I don't do pity or "poor you" ,well. Still, there are times that I do need help and find the resources that are there. I got a nice shock last week. I was at the clinic and was told the Financial Counsler would like to see me. I went in sheepishly thinking I missed a payment. Nope, my insurance was not covering my Nuelasta Shot. A nice thing to find out after getting about eight or so. The cost, eight grand a piece.....needless to say I was devestated, first off evidentely this was not "breaking news" to the clinic, to me it was. After, asking what could be done, I was told that the drug maker will help defer the cost and I would pay a $15 copay. As far as the balance? They are working on it. If you need some "mutual aid", there are programs to help you. Put aside your ego and request it. There are links on this page of some great organizations that can help and more will be added. Please ask if you need to. You may also contact me If I can help I will. Stay safe, stay positive and God Bless

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

A time to think, how can I help?

I started fighting fires in 1980. I was a young cocky Irish/Italian kid in Upstate NY. I trained hard, never backed down, had some FDNY guys in my Dept. and I was hooked. All us young guys wanted to be like them...we watched, we learned and then a few got the chance. "Wanna ride out in the City?"..Hell yeah.  I rose to the rank of Lt. in the Rescue, then moved to Texas. First off, a Leather Helmet was foriegn here in Austin at the time. What the Hell, I saw a bunch of cows? My time here lasted a few years and after 8 years I was out.. Not by choice, more of location and a young family. I still kept listening via scanner, carried my gear and rescue kit. Helped where I could. Years and time pass and in Nov 2010..diagnosed with lymphoma....I lost my Dad almost two years prior to cancer. My mind went through so many emotions, I thought I was going nuts. I started reliving my life, the goods, the bads, the uglies. Then the doubts came from the job...the what ifs. could I have saved him/her?..did I make the right call?. As I changed my life due to cancer, better diet, exercise, healthier living. It was time to give back. I fought fires and beat them..I can fight cancer. I am going through chemo and was at the clinic today. I have taken my knowledge and ability to deal with bad situations and used them to help others. You know what, the feeling of being helpful to the community has returned. I sit and talk to others that are lonley, have no family or just have given up. All I can ask is use your skills, you were trained to help. You never forget that..Being a FF is not a job, its a life...Never Forget. And remember those that gave the ultimate sacrafice.

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