It is safe and equally sad to say that there are none among us that don’t know a Brother or Sister Firefighter/EMT or Paramedic that is fighting or has fought cancer. Cancer is by the # 1 killer of active career and volunteer Firefighters-bar none. Cancer also claims the lives of more retired Firefighters above and beyond anything else.
Firefighters generally have two battlefields (lets just ignore the domestic one for now, k? Thanks).
The most common one (and the one we think most about) is the fire scene-where all we have planned and trained for comes into play. It’s when we-and those we respond to help-hopefully see us at our best.
The more common “battlefield” these days is the place where your Brothers and Sisters are fighting for their lives. Fighting cancer. Right now. Literally fighting for their lives at home, in hospitals or in hospice. Like on the fireground-sometimes we win-sometimes we do not.
Sadly, this morning, another Brother has fought a truly heroic battle but succumbed to cancer. He is the Father of a toddler, a little boy name Liam and the husband of Christine. He is a pipes band member and a career Firefighter-Paramedic with Hampton Fire-Rescue in New Hampshire.
Here is this mornings message from the HFD:
It is with the most profound sadness that Hampton Fire/Rescue announces the passing of our own hero, Firefighter/Paramedic Kyle Jameson. Kyle waged an epic battle against insurmountable odds and did so with grace and class, as a true Warrior. We are deeply saddened by his loss, but we have been made infinitely better by having had the chance to know such a wonderful human being. His humor and his generosity of spirit will light our lives forever. We ask that his family, Christine, Liam and all of #teamjameson, remain in your thoughts and prayers. From Chief Jameson R. Ayotte, Hampton F/R
I had a chance to visit with Kyle just after they arrived in NYC, on the battleground known as Sloan Kettering-a “world series/super bowl” location where those fighting are given the best chances-and they fight the absolute toughest battles. While they were there people like Joe Downey and the FDNY SOC firefighters looked after the family-starting with picking them up at the airport the day they arrived-with about an hours notice. An hours notice for Firefighters?
Piece o’cake…that gives us 59 minutes and 59 seconds lead time.
Rescue 2 and Captain Liam Flaherty (of whom little Liam is named, not because Kyle knew him, but because he inspired him, way up in new Hampshire) was there and the family spent time with them visiting as well. There were plans for Kyle to play with the FDNY Pipe and Drums…but the best laid plans….
Mike Dugan, Andy “Sippy” Biron and I spent a few a few hours with him, Christine, Liam and Kyle’s Mom back in February-where there was nothing but wonderful hope and spirit to kick the enemy. And fight, kick and battle he did. He did it at a place in NYC where if there was a chance, it was there-with them. Between the Dr’s, the Nurses, the family, the friends, the Borther and Sister FF’s and Kyle’s spirit and attitude-there was a definite will…but in the end, there was not a way.
We’ll pass along information regarding memorial services in the coming days…(see various links below) …but in the meantime, take time to THINK and DO SOMETHING.
…about getting that physical now.
…about educating your members on the insane high levels of risks we have related to getting cancer…and how they can minimize it.
…about educating your elected officials on why presumption is so critical for our profession.
…about accepting no BS on the fireground when it comes to breathing that crap. Full PPE, SCBA and no exposed skin.
,,,about supporting groups such as the Firefighter Cancer Support Network and others waging the battle against Firefighter Cancer.
RIP Firefighter/Paramedic/Warrior Kyle Jameson. RIP.
Take Care. Be Careful. Pass It On.
The Secret List 5/15/2016-1400 Hours