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Once every third day

Rick Ryckeley's picture

Today, as I sit down in front of the computer, I find myself oddly at a loss for words. As a firefighter for over a quarter of a century and a columnist for the last decade, what do I write about, on this the tenth anniversary of 9/11, that hasn’t already been written?

Long before the attacks I was a firefighter, and I was profoundly moved by the events that happened that day as one could imagine. Instantly the public now saw all firefighters as heroes – a heavy burden to carry and even heavier still to live up to.

Awash in a sea of emotions during the weeks that followed, I did something I’d never thought to do before. I wrote an article. For some reason, the editor of the local paper published it on the front page. Ten years later, I find myself still writing a weekly column for that same paper, still a firefighter for the same department, and like those true heroes of 9/11, still leaving my family to go to work not knowing if I’ll ever return.

I go to work – once every third day.

Envision a profession where you really don’t know what horrific events you will see from one moment to the next. Where you don’t know what you will be called upon to do or even if you’ll ever come home to your family again. We’re all aware it could happen, but seldom do we speak of it. It’s one of our unwritten rules. Yes, some will say that we knew the dangers when we chose to do the job. But that’s not exactly true.

What sane person would crawl into a burning building? Risk their lives to save the life of a complete stranger? Expose themselves to fire, toxins, and dangers every time they go to work? If you ask any firefighter now, or before 9/11, all will tell you the same. They didn’t really choose their profession.

They all heard the calling and continue to answer it – once every third day.

Our profession is a unique one. When Mother Nature is at her worst, we’re at our best. Any day, any time, and for any emergency we’re there. Help is just a phone call away. It’s our job to bring order to the disorder, but it’s much more than that. Children now see us as heroes wrapped up inside red and white fire trucks, but when reality comes crashing down, it couldn’t be further from the truth. We’re just as scared as everyone else, but we don’t dare show it – because you depend on us.

After the call has ended and the hoses have all been rolled and loaded back onto the trucks, we return to the station and get ready for the next call. We also do something else most are not aware of.

We pray. We pray for the will to continue to be strong and brave – once every third day.

After dinner we make our beds and pray. Pray we’re not called upon to rise in the middle of the night because that would mean someone is hurt or even worse. When the tones drop and the call goes out, we pray it’s a false call.

Driving to a medical emergency or a vehicle crash, we pray for the best possible outcome and say a word of thanks that our training makes us prepared if it’s not to be. Crawling into burning buildings, we pray all who crawl in will once again come out so the next day they can go back to their families.

Early each morning across this nation, thousands of men and women don uniforms of their departments, pack lunches and dinners, and gather their bed linens because they have heard a calling. Wives, children, and husbands are hugged and kissed goodbye.

For you see, firefighters young and old, male and female, never go to work upset at their family. It could be the last memory of them that they have. And like the events of that fateful day ten years ago, that memory may have to last a lifetime.

It’s the most important unwritten rule of all that we follow – once every third day.

[Rick Ryckeley, who lives in Senoia, has been a firefighter for more than two decades and a columnist for The Citizen since 2001. His email is]


My thanks to you and all first responders. My family includes police officers,sheriff's deputys, firefighters and EMTs. God Bless all of you.

This morning my thoughts and prayers are with the families of all first responders. These men and women are so very special. Their combination of physical and mental excellence is unparalleled in today's society. As the sun rises in peaceful Fayetteville, my thoughts join the thoughts of others in remembering this day ten years ago. . . a day that changed the lives of Americans forever. I join in silence the members of my family and close friends who live in New York and survived this tragedy. I join in silence the members of the families of friends who lost loved ones ten years ago. May everyone find a moment of peace within themselves today. . .and always.

It might have been better if self praise for one's job waited until the budget crunches were over.

We all live in a dangerous world---every day--we drive vehicles among the fools, we join the military at low pay and no choice of a home-place--every day, we fly off to timbuktu in airplanes often--most days, some of us even drive into Atlanta Center--every day!

Kids are in love with fire trucks---not firemen! They also know they must be a fireman to get to drive or ride a fire truck.

When we went away from all volunteer firemen to nearly all paid firemen, you are correct that they didn't consider it a choice but a calling---due mainly to having no job.

I appreciate the job most firemen do, I appreciate the fact that they can work 1 of 3 days for 24 hours available at the station or nearby on a phone, I appreciate the training they learn in order to possibly save lives, go to wrecks, and put out fires, but most of all I would appreciate them not making us feel as if they are always heroes and needing of more recognition, help and money!

Public jobs are much like any other job except they don't have to show a profit, just protect and defend us. If we didn't appreciate them we wouldn't pay them--they don't seem to understand that.

As to the Handy man company made up of firemen, I have no objection as long as they are qualified, have proper licenses, and liability insurance.

We have few "special" people in the USA, and that is why we endure.

BHH's picture

I don't find any "self praise" in this article.

In fact I find nothing but humility with respect and appreciation for those who do this job and those who lost their lives on 9/11.

And the budget has nothing to do with the timing.

I feel that firefighter pay and recognition should be on par with other educators or at least with librarians, but it's not.

You are right in that there are a lot of firefighters who get an ego trip from their job, but your disdain toward the writer of this article and other firefighters at this time is misplaced.


to be a bigger ASS than we have thought you were. If yours is a mental problem then you have my apology, if it is not then everyone you come in contact with has my sympathy. You denigrate everyone--this only proves that you have no self-worth and have to bolster yourself by knocking others. I certainly hope if and when your house starts burning you have a very long hose to put out that fire as I am sure you would not want any of them to "just protect and defend you." There are lots of people who are not appreciated who still draw paychecks. You were probably one of them. Thank God (oops sorry, you object to that also) that most people realize what firemen and policemen do and appreciate and thank them for their service. But then, most people have a heart and a brain.

Don't worry, the federal government (Obama) is going to bail out all "first responders."
The socialistic money will be accepted even though Washington and Obama is detested! Gov. Deal or Fayetteville won't send any.

Why must you people use the big threat of they may let you burn if your house catches on fire?

Is that a threat?

I also hope the soldiers in the middle-east won't allow the bad guys to kill me. I also appreciate them.

BHH's picture

at any time with a humble and heartfelt apology.

It's the only smart thing to do.


3boysmama's picture

You are a disgrace as a human being and a disgrace to the citizens of Fayette County and I pray you never have a need for ANY emergency services!! As a FAYETTE COUNTY FIRE FIGHTER'S wife, I challenge you to drive (since you have already made it apparent you are a "fool") your unappreciative ass up to Station's 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 10 or Headquarters for that matter and repeat your above statement to one of their faces!! I can PROMISE you my husband works more hours than you could stomach, as he works between 72 and 96 hours a week!! My father, brother, husband, and cousin are all Fire Fighters and every single one of them and almost every single Fire Fighter I know works 2 or more jobs. These men and women do not SIT around waiting on the alarms or calls, they work all day. If you would like, I can give you Chief Bartlett's office number so you can call and confirm that for yourself. Just because you get to drive amongst fools into Atlanta Center doesn't make you hardened. You wouldn't make it 60 seconds in a burning building, dragging out a body, extricating a trauma patient, or gathering the remains of a dead person off the roadway or bed. Hell, I dare to say you wouldn't even be able to drag hose!! How dare you speak ill of the men and women that literally go to work for those precious 24 hours and risk their lives for you!! These men and women don't get everyday to kiss their kids good morning, read to them at night, stay home when they're sick, hold their wives up physically and emotionally when needed...because they are civil servants. Before you judge someone that may one day hold your life in their hands, I think you need to take a long hard look in the mirror, and figure out what has made you such a horrible person. It's a shame you weren't in NY on 9/11!! Let me know if you need a ride to the fire stations. I'll be more than happy to take you!!

I might agree that you need to be held up also, emotionally!

What is wrong with you? One in three days is 96 hours a week? Or three jobs?

I did fight some fire in service. Also carried a gun. Never thought much of it, nor did any one else. My family didn't even know what I did.

I think this economic depression is causing way too many sore feelings, loss of reasoning, and lack of control.

Read it again, it isn't as bad as you say!

a little more closely! Seems like a really dangerous job at first glance, but perhaps not! It seems that more building maintenance and pest control workers died from direct work-related issues (this excludes heart attack, stroke, etc.) than firefighters in 2010!

I am always suspicious of groups that promote themselves as selfless, and that have a rabid following as illustrated by those violently attacking Roundabout for exercising his 1st Amendment rights as provided and protected (unless we curse) by our own Editor Cal!


In 2010, a total of 72 on-duty firefighter deaths occurred in the U.S. This is another sharp drop from the 105 on-duty deaths in 2008 and 82 in 2009, and the lowest annual total since NFPA began conducting this annual study in 1977. Stress, exertion, and other medical-related issues, which usually result in heart attacks or other sudden cardiac events, continued to account for the largest number of fatalities. More than half of the deaths resulted from overexertion, stress and related medical issues. Of the 39 deaths in this category, 34 were classified as sudden cardiac deaths (usually heart attacks) and five were due to strokes or brain aneurysm.

Hmm, looks like being out of shape or just it being 'your time to go' accounted for about half the firefighter deaths in 2010!

Now, lets compare fire fighter deaths with deaths in other professions!

Fatal occupational injuries by occupation (2010)

Fire fighting and prevention workers ......................27

Building cleaning and pest control workers.................45

Building cleaning and pest control workers, WE SALUTE YOU!

BHH's picture

everyone dies of cardiac arrest.

So that would eliminate all of the deaths you have surveyed.

And so your study is flawed.

Even so I would join you in saluting all workers who face a risk of work related death.


I don't really know why this is such a touchy subject, but nerves have been struck! Many fall silent about friends in danger of lay-off but won't allow others to try and find solutions to our lack of cash.

Of course you are correct about how few firefighters die yearly but that isn't really the point. One would need to compare a similar number of workers of other professions to firefighters to get the more dangerous of death occurring.

We all know, I think that in any fair comparison that construction work is the most dangerous. (well, maybe a combat battalion in conflict.)

As it turns out also, the physical condition of workers is the cause of most deaths, most aren't checked often for health problems in most professions.

This Depression we are headed for has caused much of the agitation we have. School teachers, policemen, municipal office workers, etc., are also very touchy right now. Those paid by taxes irritate the rest.

But there are about 20 million people right now who would love to have a full-time job and can't find one they can perform. 20 million!

Before long the federal government will run out of ways to keep those who are working, working!

We were destroyed by 10 years or more of negligence and credit and greed.

PTC Observer's picture

post exposes your character and immaturity better than anything you have yet written.

I wonder if any of your friends, business associates or family members know what you write here and how proud they would be if they did.

To all on this board, I say remember the fallen of 9/11 and pray for the safe return of our armed forces.

I'll bet you would tell them if only you knew the name!!!!

"Remember and pray," also for Ninja, won't you?

You continue to make no sense and show the shallowness of your character! Praying will not bring anyone home safely, but a good and properly executed exit strategy might! You follow the crowd like a cow to the slaughter--no charter, no moral fiber, only empty words with a head to match!

Falcons lose and look bad.

Failing to understand that relatives, friends, friends of friends, etc., has no bearing on facts, will never resolve certain problems.

Did you see the many heavy and lumber-some old firemen interviewed today about their heroism? They couldn't have been near the towers. They fought for some of those off duty who showed up for over-time. I knew many hopeful New York fire-fighters in the military--their Dads , Grandads, etc., had been there. It was all they would ever do. Being a short-term vet got you in with Dad's recommendation. Most of the hub-bub within the FD came from the Irish fighting the Italians and others for jobs.

The heroes are mostly still at the towers. They trusted someone else that those towers would never collapse.

We brought to this country by immigration many of such misdeeds as they had elsewhere and although it has greatly improved--- 15,000 firemen in NY are not heroes!

Everything has been covered here I think, I'm through with this subject!

Cyclist's picture

[quote=PTC Observer]post exposes your character and immaturity better than anything you have yet written.[/quote]

I agree.

Caution - The Surgeon General has determined that constant blogging is an addiction that can cause a sedentary life style.

is not a trait that I ascribe to maturity, especially when trying to exposure wrong-headed thinking!

The statistics show that on-the-job mortality rates for fire fighters is quite low--lower than for construction workers and even pest control workers in 2010 (or perhaps it was 2009). So, to write an article about the hazards of being a fire fighter seems disingenuous, especially during the 10th anniversary of 9/11.

Also, do you really think certain people should write self-aggrandizing columns when others who have suffered real loss may be trying to mourn, or forget, or move on, whatever their individual case may be. If anything,a totally blank page to commemorate the loss of those on 9/11 and everything they will never have or enjoy would have been more appropriate.

Meanwhile, certain others here make statements like 'we will hold those who perished on 9/11 in our thoughts and prayers' not with any real meaning, but simply to make themselves feel important, or to create some imagined connection with a tragedy that had little, if anything, to do with them personally.

As I have written in this forum before. I am not a patriot, so don't expect me to become one now. The US is a fine place to live, but I have lived other places just as nice, perhaps better in some ways, worse in others, and I may live somewhere else again, but for now the US is home.

To save you the trouble, I will write what I know is coming--'If you don't love America, get out! Go back where you came from you Ninja. Say that to a real fireman, I dare you! And, blah, blah, blah.'

We all have our roles on this forum and in life, and mine is to point out illogical thinking, backward ideas, and general ignorance, usually with humor and satire, but sometimes with the fine edge of a sword.

PTC Observer's picture

sword is dull.

The armed forces aren't "returning" safe.

They need better treatment for those wounded and for the dead one's families.

Many of these vets were National Guard and Reserves who were older and had wives and children---unlike other wars. They also now have no job for the most part when they return. Praying is OK for you to do however some butts also need to be kicked and this taken care of before another tax break.
I expect to hear soon that the Guard and Reserves have been mis-treated with too many returns to battle due to recruiting being slow, and also a way needed to rebuild the Guard and Reserves.

The states will NOT take care of their Guard but want control over it.

Frankly, these soldiers need more help than do local teachers, firemen and policemen.

3boysmama's picture

You seem to need someone in your life to love or maybe someone to care about selflessly. I wonder how many lonely days and nights you face regularly. You commented on those "...that have a rabid following as illustrated by those violently attacking Roundabout for exercising his 1st Amendment rights as provided and protected...". Everyone that posted a commment has done exactly that. You can't expect to stand up for Roundaboout and throw the 1st Amendments rights in our faces as if they do not apply to all American Citizens.

I not only defended the men and women I am friends with and/or related to, but all Public Safety personel. I also defended my husband, which is something I will do until the day I take my last breath and I will do as rabidly and as violently as I need to.

Here's a little tid bit of information for you. Every single year, each Fire Fighter in Fayette County has the most extensive physical available, so I can promise you there isn't an "out of shape" Fire Fighter amongst them.

No lonely nights for me! Wife and too many kids; all in the same bed sometimes! More than your three too! And let's not forget all those late-night blogger friends like PTCO and Sugarfoot that love me too!

So, back to this fire fighter thing. Let's start with fireman Rick's article.

First, he says he is at a loss for words, which is not true as he goes on to write a whole column! Good, catchy, lead sentence--A+ for that--but disingenuous if he really wants to pay tribute to those that died on 9/11. As I said, a simple blank page would have been better!

Second, he says, shucks we fire fighters are not heroes--we are just following our calling and doing our jobs! We don't want all this attention and admiration! Then, he goes on to say, oh by the way, we go to work every three days to a VERY dangerous job and don't even know if we are coming back! But, we are NOT heroes--we just keep everybody safe, save lives, and risk our own lives, but let me say again we are NOT heroes! That's H-E-R-O-E-S, heroes. And my name is Rick, with an R. 110 Flamingo Street--got that? Good, not a hero though. Just putting out those fires, saving lives, risking my own. Nope, not a hero. Did I mention that I write a column for the local paper and have a book out?

Now, about this not coming home part. The statistics show that this is simply not true. Only 30 something firefighters in the WHOLE USA died from on the job injuries in 2010 (or 2009, I forget which year the data is for). Compare this with about 600 something people getting killed riding bicycles during the year! So, fire fighters have a much greater chance of getting killed riding a bike to work than actually working!

Next, let's look closer to home. How many fire fighters in the Fayette/Coweta area have been killed on the job in recent years? I have not lived in this area long enough to know personally, but I would wager it is very low, maybe even zero! So, fireman Rick pretty much knows that he IS coming home from work after working every third day. Disingenuous pull on the heart strings No. 2!

So, why why is he playing your and others' heart strings like a fiddle with this column? Well, first of all, he is a columnist and that is what columnists do! No harm, no foul!

But, from the story in the Citizen, it seems fireman Rick chose to launch his book tour (that is what I call his get-together at the PTC library) around the time of the anniversary of 9/11--the same week maybe!?

Hmm, a column on fire fighters tied to 9/11, the kick-off of a book tour to coincide with the 10th anniversary of 9/11, and notification of a second book on fire fighting coming to Amazon, Kindle, and all other distribution channels soon! Coincidence? I don't think so!

Perhaps his publisher made this schedule for him, but even if so, he could have backed away from the 9/11 week PR tour out of respect for the 9/11 victims.

That's my (and probably correct) take on the whole affair. Do with it what you will--it didn't cost you a dime!

As for standing up for hubby, if that is your thang, keep on keeping on! As I have said here more than once, we all have our roles! Mine is to expose illogical/backward thinking through biting satire with a dash of humor and a healthy dose of sarcasm, as long as editor Cal permits that is!

But beware! I don't curse Mike King so I might last a good long while!

3boysmama's picture

I'm not debating Rick's article, nor was I interested in dissecting it. That was never my intention. I was originally responding to Roundabout's comments that I felt were an attack on all Fire Fighters as a whole and then subsequently responding to the fact that you stated my comments were rabid and violent. I was only stating that Fayette County Fire Fighters are not allowed to be out of shape, and that as a part of the Public Safety family, I'll defend any of them when I feel it necessary. End of story.

3boysmama: "I don't need to be held up emotionally, nor do I have sore feelings, loss of reasoning, or lack of control. It's quite the opposite actually."

Ninja: Yes, you have proven that you keep control right well with the following comments that are hardly rabid and violent!

1. You are a disgrace as a human being and a disgrace to the citizens of Fayette County and I pray you never have a need for ANY emergency services! (Usually when people say 'I pray you never' it means they strongly wish the opposite!)

2. You have already made it apparent you are a "fool". (Isn't that prohibited by the Bible?!)

3. Hell, I dare to say you wouldn't even be able to drag hose!! (I actually like this one!)

4. Figure out what has made you such a horrible person. (Outspoken perhaps, but horrible?!)

5. It's a shame you weren't in NY on 9/11! (Wishing death on someone!)

6. You have no right to go on a public forum and blast someone that puts their life on the line for others. (Against Constitutional rights for some?!)

Do your church pastors know you harbor such feelings toward another human? They might be able to help, unless its that church Brother Hearn attends, which seems to condone bad behavior!

I was taken aback by your violent comments and distaste for the freedom of speech, as illustrated in No. 6! Usually card-carrying liberals like yourself are strong proponents of the 1st Amendment! You could lose your ACLU membership for that!

Anyway, its been good blogging with you! Hope to see you around more!

3boysmama's picture

I think it is hilarious you have dissected my post. Haha!!

1. Whether or not there is a need for FCFD or any other emergency services, I really could care less. It actually would make more sense for their to be an emergency so you could see how bad ass these guys/gals are!!

2.NO man or woman of God is perfect.

3. Dragging hose is actually not easy, especially when it's charged (filled with water).

4.Horrible may have been all reation, but like everyone else, I was speaking my mind.

5. This one really pisses me off because I never have and never would wish any harm on any human being, animal, or any living creature! I only meant for him to be there to physically witness the horrors everyone went through that day.

6.Anyone can blast anything or any article they wish, I just think it is beyond tacky to say such nasty things about Public Safety. One thing that keeps being brought up is the pay for Public Safety, and I can tell you none of us/them were/are paid near enough money.

I don't harbor hard feelings against anyone. God is the only true judge, not me. I do however, have an opinion and usually don't post on here, but this topic is too close to home for me.

The most entertaining comment from your dissection is that you think I am a card carrying liberal!! HAHAHAHAHA!!! I am so far from being a liberal!! That one actually made me laugh out loud!!

3boysmama's picture

A Fireman's Life

I wish you could know what it is like to search a burning bedroom for trapped children at 3 AM, flames rolling above your head, your palms and knees burning as you crawl, the floor sagging under your weight as the kitchen below you burns.

I wish you could comprehend a husband's horror at 6 in the morning as I check his wife of 40 years for a pulse and find none. I start CPR anyway, hoping to bring her back, knowing intuitively it is too late. But wanting her husband and family to know everything possible was done to try to save her life.

I wish you knew the unique smell of burning insulation, the taste of soot-filled mucus, the feeling of intense heat through your turnout gear, the sound of flames crackling, the eeriness of being able to see absolutely nothing in dense smoke-sensations that I've become too familiar with.

I wish you could read my mind as I respond to a building fire "Is this a false alarm or a working fire? How is the building constructed? What hazards await me? Is anyone trapped?" Or to a call, "What is wrong with the patient? Is it minor or life-threatening? Is the caller really in distress or is he waiting for us with a 2x4 or a gun?"

I wish you could be in the emergency room as a doctor pronounces dead the beautiful five-year old girl that I have been trying to save during the past 25 minutes, who will never go on her first date or say the words, "I love you Mommy" again.

I wish you could have the sleepless nights, remembering the faces of the children you've seen, that were killed and/or maimed resulting from traffic crashes. How many shredded or crushed innocent children's bodies have you had to look at?

Have you ever had to wash the odor of charred or decomposed human flesh, from your clothing? Do you think you could forget that smell? We can't.

I wish you had to intercede, after some trailer park dope decided to smash a fish tank across his wife's head, because she didn't buy enough beer for him to drink. Look at the faces of the poor children, that had to be the witnesses. Take that into your dreams.

I wish you could know the frustration I feel in the cab of the engine or medic truck; the driver with his foot pressing down hard on the pedal, my arm tugging again and again at the air horn chain, as you fail to yield the right-of-way at an intersection or in traffic. When you need us however, your first comment upon our arrival will be, "It took you forever to get here!"

I wish you could know my thoughts as I help extricate a girl of teenage years from the remains of her automobile. "What if this was my daughter, sister, my girlfriend or a friend? What is her parent's reaction going to be when they open the door to find a police officer with hat in hand?"

I wish you could know how it feels to walk in the back door and greet my parents and family, not having the heart to tell them that I nearly did not come back from the last call.

I wish you could feel the hurt as people verbally, and sometimes physically, abuse us or belittle what I do, or as they express their attitudes of "It will never happen to me."

I wish you could realize the physical, emotional and mental drain or missed meals, lost sleep and forgone social activities, in addition to all the tragedy my eyes have seen.

I wish you could know the brotherhood and self-satisfaction of helping save a life or preserving someone's property, or being able to be there in time of crisis, or creating order from total chaos.

I wish you could understand what it feels like to have a little boy tugging at your arm and asking, "Is Mommy okay?" Not even being able to look in his eyes without tears from your own and not knowing what to say. Or to have to hold back a long time friend who watches his buddy having CPR done on him as you take him away in the Medic Unit. You know all along he did not have his seat belt on. A sensation that I have become too familiar with.

Unless you have lived with this kind of life, you will never truly understand or appreciate who I am, we are, or what our job really means to us... I wish you could though.

-Author Unknown

This really sums it up.

I think I know why you are thought of as a Democrat. That is, you speak of the workplace being a Brotherhood and are for higher taxes to obtain raises for that workplace.

The meaning of Brotherhood is that those belonging to the group always stand behind, back-up, are for, plot with, and make it difficult to be supervised.
That is not conservative principles.
By the way I did "drag hose" once in the military--full of pressure. That is why few females are put on the lead valve. Also, I don't believe any firemen are canned due to a so-called physical. (nor are Generals).

So you will know, I am a certified Independent and vote for, nor stand-behind, any party for every item. I have voted both ways over several elections - but only once in each election.

I am also for and against unions. For those where they are needed for decent wages and living conditions; against those whose demands never end.
Unions helped coal miners, and kids working; hurt auto companies, truckers, and large cities.

I must say for you not to harbor ill feelings and judgement over anyone, I wonder just who then you are lambasting!

BHH's picture

If not for the Union, firefighting (as coal mining) would not be as safe as it is today and there would be many more injuries and deaths in the profession.

Volunteer firefighters are those most endangered by lack of proper equipment and safety practices but professional firefighters are required to act aggressively in emergencies and sometimes their employers expect too much from them without giving them the proper tools to work with.

It's not a well paid profession and that's why what seems to be good retirement benefits are offered for some of these.

I think if Ninja would research it, that he would find most firefighters do not live more than 10 years after retirement, no mater what age they retire at.

Compare those stats to your bug mans.

So that benefit is a hollow victory for the few who get decent retirements.


3boysmama's picture

I don't need to be held up emotionally, nor do I have sore feelings, loss of reasoning, or lack of control. It's quite the opposite actually. The reaction you got from me was completely warranted. You have no right to go on a public forum and blast someone that puts their life on the line for others. That's just about the lowest of the low. If you had a relationship with anyone in Public Safety, you would know that most of them don't even like to be brought into the light and made public "heroes". Even when we (I'm part of that family) do something that saves a life, or a house, or deliver a baby, or get someone help while there is a burgular in their house, or stop a DUI, or talk someone down that is about to commit suicide, we don't want it brought out. We do our jobs because that is what we love, what courses through our veins, and what drives us. The lack of control I have is for someone like you that makes an uneducated assumption about something just because they want to stir the pot. You said before how the fire fighters sit around, well sir, the fact that you can be online all the time posting comments on almost every article that is added on a daily basis proves that you sit quite a lot more than an entire Company does. As far as my attitude, I will without a doubt defend my husband, father, brother, cousin, friends, and brothers and sisters in Public Safety tooth and nail when they are so blatantly disrespected.

Had you paid attention, you would have seen where I said most Fire Fighters work 2 or more extra jobs. My husband is no exception. He works 3 jobs total including being a phenomenal Daddy and husband.He has more integrity and honor than you ever will. I suggest you not comment on things when you have no idea what you're talking about.

I suppose further conversation about this subject would only get worse instead of any understanding.

I am now more confused than ever: are you talking about firemen or policemen? (DUIs, suicide talks, burglars)

I have time to write them and you must have time to read them all! I am retired.

Do you actually help your husband at the fire department? Interjection by wives was disallowed in most of the work I ever did. Usually causes dissention.

I will say it has been interesting talking to you but my intention was to advise all public employees to understand that at a time when 20 million are out of work (at least) is not a time to ask for attention!

Hope all gets well with you.

3boysmama's picture

This is the first time in almost 3 years I have commented on anything on The Citizen as your utter lack of respect for anything and complete disregard for human feelings floored me.

I am a little confused at how you do not understand that I am speaking of all Public Safety as a whole. I do not go to work with my husband, but I am a retired 911 Dispatcher, so I guess you could say I did help him at work. When you speak so horribly of Fire Fighters, you are speaking horribly of us all.

Rick wasn't trying to bring attention to hisself, he was only trying to show respect for others...somthing you should try once in a while.

Thank you for your concern, but I am perfectly fine.

Don't let this fool get under your skin.

smiles to adults and children alike. In most cases they represent happiness and laughter. The only clown I can compare this miscreant to is the one in that Mary Tyler Moore episode--believe his name was Chuckie--and he was not a thing of joy--sort of like Round. Usually, I can ignore him and just consider it another one of his bids for attention, but in this case--not when there are so many children who have grown up never knowing their parent, family members losing their loved ones-and as most of the nation mourns and remembers this reprobate has to use the situation to spew his venom. May ten thousand varmits take refuge in his Fruit of the Looms.

But I will step in when he obviously has someone on the hook.

kcchiefandy's picture

...don't seem to understand that".

No, we understand it and don't seek the praise; it is offered willingly by those who want us to know, personally, they appreciate our service. Most of us are kind of embarrassed by it, as we love and enjoy our jobs and the honor of serving our nation and our people. Thank you, Roundabout, for paying us. Thank God we have you or we'd be in a soup line somewhere. You are the epitome of a douche bag.

When your stroke or cardiac arrest comes, please dial your neighbor, the insurance salesman, to help you.

watch those firemen going into instead of away from the destruction and certain death as they replay the happenings of 9/11? Are you thinking "Boy, are they overpaid and look at those glory hogs running into mayhem just to get coverage on the evening news?" Or are you too busy checking to see how short are the skirts and how deep the cleavage of the females on Fox? I would imagine the latter as that seems to be the depth of your mental capacity. Even after many have posted their disgust with you and your views on this site, you do not have the understanding to comprehend how terribly wrong you were with that post. We all know you like to consider youself a maverick and a pot stirrer but that was reprehensible. It is true that we never know what is going to happen to any of us as we go about our day to day lives. We might be mugged, shot by a stray bullet or hit by a car. We all realize that, we also realize that firefighters and police personnel along with our military personnel are really the ones that pick a profession where they know more than likely at some time or other their lives will be put in jeopardy---they endure the day to day boredom of their jobs as we all do, but when that fire alarm goes off, that 911 call comes in or our government sends troops into danger, they are the ones who do not question but answer the call regardless of the danger. Most of us have the common sense and common decency to know that and know they deserve our respect, our thanks and gratitude. Evidently that gene was left out when that sperm met with that egg in your case.

yaya's picture

Firemen respond to emergencies and protect everyone, even self-absorbed pessimists like Roundabout. God bless em all!

Concerned American

your timing is extremely inappropriate...

First of all, there was nothing in that article that was "self praising". It was a well written article by a FF whose life changed as a result of 9/11! It had nothing to do with money or recognition. I am a FF. My father, both uncles and a cousin are all FF 's as well. We were called to do this job, not for the money, but to help people. It takes a special person to do what we do and to see what we see. With that being said, you can go up to any FF (even those in NY) and ask them of they think they are "heroes" and they will tell you very quickly "NO!" We do not consider ourselves as heroes. We are doing our job! A job that we love. 10 years ago we lost 343 of our brothers and sisters! The way this FF copes is by writing an article. The last thing he needs is some ignorant prick spouting off some crap to turn the attention to himself. Sunday will be a day of mourning and remembrance. Please show a bit of respect. While you may not think that what we do is good enough for you, I am willing to bet that you would not have ran into those two towers! How about instead of trashing your local FF's, you support them, because you never know when you might need us!

3boysmama's picture

I agree completely!! Amen my brother in service and brother in Christ!!

kevink's picture

Thank you. And thank those like you, who thanklessly go to work and come home... that we may live in peace, knowing that someone's a phone call away should we need them. Much love to you and yours. And God bless our first responders and the men and women at the tip of the spear at home and abroad.

Vote Mytmite in 2012!

ctkcec's picture

There are those in life (and those who regularly contribute their thoughts in this fourm) who never have anything good to say about anyone. No matter what the subject, they feel compelled to attack, slash, and burn. On 9/11 and on every day since then and on every day before 9/11 firefighters, police officers, and others consistently put their lives at risk for people they do not know. They run into danger when all other are running away. My personal thanks to Rick Ryckerley and those who do what heroes always do---they do their job without expectation of thanks or reward. God bless them -- and God pity and have mercy on those who can only find fault.

David Epps

I once was told, while at attention a group, that "what I want you to hear now from me is this----in lieu of paying you handsomely, giving you excellent benefits, and possibly a slim retirement after many years, we will at every opportunity praise you to heaven, give you plastic awards, pieces of paper appreciation, and cloth ribbons and tell you often that there is no more money for salaries!"

I knew then that I didn't want that job as a lifestyle. Maybe some do.

I reviewed many of your columns here and maybe I am a bad judge of comparison, but it appeared to me that there are also many people
that you also find criticism for, and often.

I also have found that if a man's Ox finds himself stuck in a ditch and a bull is constantly going him towards death, that if that Ox belongs to a preacher, and it is Sunday, the Preacher will get that Ox out of the ditch. Yet he will also preach that Sunday is a day of rest and no work should be performed, providing his own Ox never gets gored.

Please reread my original statement here about maybe the less said about people on budgets of taxes, the better off they might be.

I also said I appreciated their actual work. No need to heap praise where they themselves say it is embarrassing.

Your comments about some saying many critical things in many comments could possibly be your problem instead of a fireman comment!

Politics and religion do not mix well---never has. Millions have died and been maimed due to the mix.

ctkcec's picture

I have noticed that nearly all those who throw these bombs do so from the safe cover of namelessness. Folks like Rick and others (yes, I include myself)choose to comment in the open. We are accountable for our words, the others are not.

David Epps

PTC Observer's picture

Now you should know that we are all accountable for our words and actions.

It doesn't matter how we deliver them.

"Character is what we do when no one is watching."

Right, Pastor?

G35 Dude's picture

We are all accountable for our words. The Lord knows who we are. And what is in our hearts.

PTC Observer's picture

Those who have given their lives in an attempt to save others can only find a special place in heaven. They deserve an honored place in our hearts and in history.

What makes people like these?

We can only wonder and marvel at the goodness in some men.

Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for another.

Thank you for your service to our community Rick.

suggarfoot's picture

It is a rare breed that can keep their head in a fire, or will risk an ugly death to save a stranger. I couldn't do it. I'm sure I would go to pieces.

BHH's picture

Ninja and Roundabout, I am completely bewildered and disappointed by both of your apparent desires to trash the profession at a time when most everyone else is humbling themselves in remembrance of this disastrous attack on our country and those who lost their lives.


NUK_1's picture

..and they dared say what I don't think it is that much of a minority opinion any more these days after going through the absolute hysterics of the post-9/11 of TSA/DHS, torture/Gitmo, warrantless wiretapping and mass panic that cheapened our country, not made it "stronger."

I will never be over 9/11 or "forget" because of the American spectacle that shoves it in your face and degrades the very people who actually DID something that day instead of the mass of sheeple who live in fear or try to attach themselves to it and say "look at me and what I do."

This country doesn't exist without the sometimes-absurd ramblings of a Roundabout or the knife-edge of Ninja who have the lack of "social conscious" (that would be roundie)or the sac(Ninja) to call it like it is. Sorry to poop on your pity party folks, but this "10th anniversary of 9/11" was a bunch of crap and demeans the people who died that day. Do we celebrate the bombing of Pearl Harbor? Don't we have a Memorial Day?

I'm not minimizing what happened on 9/11 or the extremely brave people that charged into the Twin Towers when everyone else was trying to get the hell out of there or even jumping, but America let the terrorists score a bigger victory with how this country dealt with the aftermath. W and many others said "go ahead and do what you were doing before 9/11 and show them that they didn't change our way a life." We totally failed in that regard because most people placed "security" over "freedom" yet again. ooooh...we want to be safe...government protect me...wahhh.

All the people who want to talk about the Founding Fathers of this country.....they are rolling over in the graves at what you have turned this country into in the name of "security" or your stupid "religion." I will admit that they probably had no idea about how cowardly 20th/21st Century Americans would be and might agree at this point that when the masses are this ignorant, it's time for Federalism to take control, but we can do better than that.


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