St Patrick’s Day Musings

Because it is St. Paddy’s Day this weekend and because of my Irish heritage I thought it only appropriate that I would make some Irish analogies that might relate to the fire service this week. My dad always made a great deal about St. Patrick’s Day as my grandfather came directly from Ireland during the large migration. My Grandfather and his brothers ( Patrick, Mike, James, and Edward ….go figure!) lived in America all of their adult lives but always enjoyed and re-surfaced their Irish heritage at any moment they thought they could gain some mileage out of it!

Isn’t the fire service like an old traditional Irish family? We complain criticize and beat the heck out of one another verbally and critically in the fire station. Let some other person outside of the fire service criticize some of those same people and we immediately rush to their defense! It’s OK if we do it ” …’cause we are family and brothers!”

The legend goes that St. Patrick chased the snakes out of Ireland. Why the hell did he do that? Now the have only become politicians!

(Hey I was one, I can say that! – Lighten up will you!)

The Irish are noted for the quick temper, tenacious spirit, and a willingness to fight. OK, OK, maybe there could be some connection to the fire service there, let me think about that one.

There is always discussion about the luck of the Irish! Remember that there could be a significant difference between the luck of the Irish and the fire service. In this case I always refer to the saying that has been around for many years, and that is the difference between skill and luck is how long it lasts! A narrow escape is a free pass and a stroke of luck, skill allows you not to happen again!

An Irish toast and greeting says “May the road rise to meet you, and may the wind be always be at your back….” Who would have thought that they were talking about a hazardous materials incident where you should be upwind and uphill all the time!

Then there is the Blarney Stone…..hmmmm a connection between Blarney (Bologna) and the fire service, wait I can do this …wait I know I can!

Leprechauns….those little mischievous guys that play tricks on other mortals all the time. Maybe, just maybe those are the guys that keep moving the equipment around on the apparatus and that’s why we can never find anything. Maybe that’s why all the stuff from our food locker is gone, and maybe just maybe they are the guys who throw dirt on the floor, because after all I know I did my house duties, honest I did!

The “pot o’ gold” and the rainbow. I always liked those and I think the easiest thing I could write about those is a very simple message. The pot of gold and the rainbow vary from person to person and in some cases from day to day. Chase an elusive dream that may be waiting for you and when you get to the end instead of being disappointed, think about the treasure you really have. Your friends, your family, your health and all of the things that really matter. The chase and the dream are fun but do not lose sight of the things you have that allow you to get there!

The Irish can make a seven course meal out of a six pack and a boiled potato! Have you ever seen how a meal is prepared in a fire house. The only thing better than a large fire house meal is working the next night when there will be some extravaganza made from the leftovers!

If you want a neat Irish Story go searching around for some information on a guy by the name of Ronan Tynon one of the three now famous Irish Tenors. I just learned some pretty neat things about him this weekend, and you should take a look as well…he has an entirely different profession, has faced some enormous physical obstacles, and has a personal passion for many things that should be admired. You can’t get more Irish than that!

Hey, lets get serious here this is not all fun and games…the Irish are a dedicated, hard working, fun loving people who share a spirit of family and friends and life’s simple pleasures. Hey maybe that is the best analogy and description of the fire service I know!

No Serious message this week just a chance to smile and relax and not take life so serious. I need to do that and I thought I would share these whimsical thoughts with you. As we as a country move forward in very uncertain times, a smile here or there can’t hurt.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day and for all of my Italian friends Happy St. Joseph’s Day Too!

(reposted from an few years back on my website)

Pete Lamb
Copyright 2013