Columbus Firefighters

by Kate Djupe

The firefighters of Columbus have been in the news because of the SB5 protests. 

The people in our house love firetrucks.

Almost two years ago, we started visiting the fire stations around Columbus at least once a week.

If you knock on their door and ask nicely, the men and women at the station will almost always entertain you and your kiddos with tours of the trucks.

The excitement of my kids is always matched by the enthusiasm of the firefolks.

That is Larry. He is one of our favorite firemen.

When I started to feel self-conscious about knocking on the same firehouse door every week, we started visiting other stations.

Once we realized that they honestly didn't mind our visits, we started taking our self-conscious friends with us. 

We also made trips to the Central Ohio Fire Museum

The stations are free, the museum is not. 

If we had to, we would pay for each visit to the fire stations.

Instead, we say thank you every week, take Jeni's ice cream when it is hot outside, deliver cookies on Christmas Day and we do something we call "Truck or Treat" after Halloween (the kids give their candy to firefighters while we check out trucks).

I think I can safely say that these days, we love the firemen and firewomen just as much as we love the trucks.

And the firedogs.

We aren't related to any firefighters, but we know so many by name.

They share the details of their lives while pointing out the details of their trucks.

I started taking photos on the visits because I thought I might be able to discover where the magic could be found;

that something special that made my kiddos fall so deeply in love.

Somewhere in these years and photos, I might have fallen in love with their beauty too. 

And I am continuously impressed with how kind and brave and patient these firefolks have been.

I had a long post written about the politics of fighting against firefighters' rights (and the police and teachers and every other state employee) to collective bargaining but I have a feeling I would not be saying anything you didn't already know.

I just wanted to share something that we love and stand beside.