I was quite happy to see how many people came out to the Firefighter Support Rally at Flamson Middle School this past Saturday morning. I’m not sure of the exact number but I can say it was hundreds. People lined 24th Street to cheer on and thank the firefighters as they left the Paso Robles Event Center to head back out to continue battling the Chimney Fire.
Dozens upon dozens of fire trucks and other fire personnel vehicles rolled by with horns and sirens going. They were videoing us as we videoed them. I can’t tell you how many smiles we saw in those fire trucks. It was amazing…and emotional.
At one point as the trucks were heading out to the fire the night crew was heading in to get some rest and a good meal. It was awe inspiring. Trucks from Santa Fe Springs, Flagstaff, Beverly Hills, Los Angeles County, Riverside, San Diego, and on and on and on. All here for us in the little town of Paso Robles.
To them it’s their job. They want to make a difference. They want to help. In this instance they were helping people that they’ve never met before in a town they’ve probably never been to before. Community is much more than what we think it is. In this case, community was humanity.
Then it struck me. Inside those trucks there were men and women, gay, straight, black, white, Hispanic, Asian, short, tall, Catholic, Christian, atheist, Dodger fans and Giants fans. They had different political views. Different theories on parenting.
It was a reminder to me that the labels we put on ourselves really don’t matter. You be you. I’ll be me. But when the shit hits the fan…people that you may otherwise not like…were here helping to fight the Chimney Fire that was damaging homes and environment that mean nothing to them. They were/ are here because it’s in their DNA to do this work.
The way Paso Robles came together and continues to come together is amazing. We owe it to each other here and around the country and world. If you can help, help. Humanity is not limited to white or black, rich or poor, the U.S.A. or Syria. Humanity is humanity. Lend a hand however you can and whenever you can.
Side note: We were over in San Simeon over the weekend with our friend Lisa. After hanging on the beach for a little photography shoot we headed over to Sebastian’s for lunch. As we were eating a couple of guys with Cal Fire came in. One from San Diego and the other from Oroville. Both here for the Chimney Fire.
When they came in we chatted with them. Told them about the support rally in Paso Robles. They said that was the best thing we can do. He let us know that that sort of action really builds morale at camp and while on a fire like this away from home.
Annie attempted to pay for their lunch but they wouldn’t let her. My guess is, as nice as that is they appreciate the thank you’s far more. There was a group of 5 or 6 of them having lunch on the patio. Our friend Lisa drew a Cal Fire truck and Sammy colored it. We had him go give it to the guys and say thank you…which he did. One of them said they were going to hang it at base camp so all the firefighters could see it. We were appreciative. They were appreciative.
The best thing we can do moving forward is kill the negativity that is flowing through this country. Stop. Just stop. It does nothing. Instead, feed as much good into your daily life. I promise you that things will get better if you do so.