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first responders

Ted Speedster1I was making good time as was my wont on windy roads, perhaps making up for a late start too. I am a very focused driver regularly and at full-chat even more so, but as I braked for the sharp turn something off to the left through the bushes and trees didn’t look right. Powering out of the turn, I knew what it was, turned off and slid to a stop in the wide gravel driveway.

I jumped out of The Speedster, bounded through the gate and up to the tinderbox porch attached to the old mobile home. Mom and 3 or 4 little kids were huddled, staring at the approaching grass fire like deer in the headlights.

I got in front of her, got her eyes on mine and said,

BLANKET
WET
WATER
NOW

To my 12-year-old daughter, “Get everybody out on the driveway” (and KNEW that was handled).

Into the house the woman had a perfect medium sized blanket, but was heading to the way-too-slow kitchen sink.

NO
LOTS OF WATER
BATHTUB
NOW

I went charging outside with my wet blanket while my daughter escorted the mom to safety.

The fire in the tall, dry grass surrounding the old trailer was, well exciting for sure, but the wet blanket and I just started at the point closest to the home and worked the fire line. Next thing I knew there were no more flames and a blackened patch probably 30′ x 60′ or more.

Sure that job was done, I set the blanket down by the porch and headed for the driveway and the little family there. About that time I hear sirens approaching and said to my daughter, “Let’s go”. As the firetrucks began blocking the road deploying men and equipment, we were heading on to Dinnucci’s Family Restaurant where my mom, sister, wife and my other daughters were waiting to start ordering dinner.

“Sorry we’re late. I had to put out a fire.”

My delivery was on. Everybody laughed.

Then Mom said slowly, “You are serious!?!” And the story came out.

My point here is that

We are all first responders.

The right time to act is right away.
The right thing to do is in our head.
Find it.
Do it.
Without hesitation.

I know we are being trained in a myriad of ways to defer to the experts. To wait for instructions. That we can’t DO for ourselves. Call 911. See something – say something. Spectate.

Don’t.

Don’t accept that mentality. Do not let them put artificial barriers between us and a decent world. Don’t give up your humanity.

And for goodness sakes, fight every attempt to restrict our abilities to respond whether it is good-Samaritan liabilities or the right [obligation] to be armed.