And a probie shall lead them

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, April 27, 2011

So as usual we get called to an automatic alarm at a private residence. When we get there, there is an actual smell of smoke, so the decision is made to force the door. So the captain and a lieutenant decide to show a new probie how to force the door. Yet try as they might they just can’t get enough leverage to pry the door. So then the probie says, “ Here, let me,” and the two of them started chuckling as the probie walks up. He then grabs the doorknob, turns it and promptly opens the door, much to the shock of the two officers who never tried to just open the door first.

When I read this story it made me think how sometimes we get so focused on something we don’t take the time to see or notice the obvious.

Many times I have been in a situation in which my adrenaline and heart is racing so fast I have a hard time putting my thoughts together. I have to stop and take a few steps back and slow down.

Sometimes we get ourselves into situations like being late for work or having a fight with a family member or someother thing has happened in our lives that we are not noticing the things that come naturally to us. We are not acting like we normally do. We make the wrong decisions and say the wrong things.

I was sitting at a red light thinking, “What are all these people doing on the road today?” Some are working, some are going to the store and some are just out driving. Some of them might be going to the doctor and some might be having a bad day. Maybe someone just got a promotion or is on their way to the hospital to have a baby. You really don’t know what is going on in their lives.

Many times we overlook the obvious — our friends, family and loved ones. We really don’t know what is going on in their lives. Sometimes we have to take a step back and find out a better way to open the door. We have to take the time to see what the situation is. Maybe the next time someone does something you think isn’t quite right, step back and give them the benefit that something might not be just right, and they might not be thinking to turn the knob. You might have to help them.

There have been quite a few times I have not thought about trying to open the door with the door knob. I tried prying and swinging an ax and became exhausted, but then someone put their hand on my shoulder and turned the handle, and the door opened. 

Thank you.

Michael Heath is president of the St. John Professional Firefighters Association.