An Old Friend’s Question: Would I Ever Return To Firefighting?

An old friend called me and asked, “would you ever return to firefighting?”

To which I replied, “that all depends on what you have in mind”.

He clarified that he wanted me to come back and fight fires with him again. He was referring to the way things used to be, and how we had a lot of fun together. I told him, “the way things used to be weren’t the way things are now, and perhaps they never will be.”

“I just wanted to know”, he said, asking me again, “would you ever consider coming back to fighting fires?”

I thought about it for a moment, and then I answered him. “No.”

“Are you sure?”, he asked, “It would be great if you would come back.”

“No”, I said again, weighing the decision in my head. I followed up by saying, “I’m not sure. Maybe someday. It depends.”

To be honest, I miss working in a tight-knit group, solving problems together and protecting the community. I miss the feeling of being prepared for anything, knowing that if something went wrong, we were ready to deal with it. I don’t regret my decision to leave firefighting; I’m happy being retired now. Still, sometimes when an old friend asks me if I would ever return to fighting fires, it is hard not to be drawn back into those memories.

I can’t say for sure if I’ll ever return to firefighting, but it wasn’t easy when my friend asked me the question. For a moment, I felt as if everything we went through together had all been for nothing. But then came the realization that it was a question of priorities. Firefighting is not my priority anymore. My wife and my friends are more important than anything else.

November 16, 2022


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