By Sherry Hoover,
Read at President Hoover’s Retirement Party March 16, 2019
It only takes a spark to get a fire going as any fireman knows,
But inside the heart of a fireman another flame does glow.
It is the flame that burns within,
That keeps him going again and again.
Just like the blood that pumps through his veins,
It is the flame of courage that never wanes.
He took an oath to protect and serve,
Never seeking the recognition he so justly deserves.
He does a good deed, and saves property and life,
Not ever knowing what might be his sacrifice.
He meets the needs of others in their time of distress,
And when his work is done, only then will he rest.
His dedication to his fellow man cannot be measured by width or length,
It can only be measured by his inner strength.
This is the flame that burns within his heart,
It has been there from the very start.
The pager goes off as the call comes in,
The fireman springs into action again.
The flame within gets him up as he hurries to the call,
What will this fire be about–will he see a fireman fall?
He grabs his gear and the adrenaline starts to pump,
As he races to the firehouse and into the truck he jumps.
The sirens will howl and the lights will flash,
As he prepares himself to meet fire and ash.
He arrives on the scene and makes a plan of attack,
He picks up the line and feels the hand of his buddy upon his back.
The hose is charged and away he goes,
How this will end, only God knows.
The fire has taken on a life of its own and it raises its ugly head,
But the fireman knows the flame in his heart will serve him well instead.
He makes the entry and begins the work,
Of extinguishing the fire paying no attention to dangers that lurk.
The training kicks in and automatically takes over,
As he tries to stay focused and keep his composure.
He searches through heat, darkness, and smoke,
And hurriedly he prods and listens and pokes,
For the faintest of sound,
That lets him know someone inside needs to be found.
He touches a hand and quickly grabs hold,
“stay close to me,” the victim is told.
They make their way out of the ravaged place,
And the fireman feels the spray of water upon his face.
As they reach the door he looks back once more,
And he hears the creaking and cracking of the falling floor.
Safely outside the fireman kneels to pray,
“Thank you Lord for helping me save a life today.”
This job is for the agile and young,
And the true fireman knows when his time is done.
He turns over the reins to another Chief,
And almost breathes a sigh of relief.
For he knows the job is never done,
But sometimes it can be lots of fun!
The bravest fireman knows from the flame in his heart,
When it’s time to go–time to make a new start.
So as the fireman turns the page on a life-long career,
Please don’t be sad or shed a tear.
Be glad for him as he enters new stages,
And begins to fill another book with brand new pages.
A book filled with love, family, and laughter,
After all, it’s a brand new chapter.
The flame that burns in a fireman’s heart is tucked away in a special place,
Where it forever will burn and not be erased.
So this is just adios and not goodbye,
Because the flame that burns deep in his heart will never, ever die.