It's been a busy several weeks, both personally and for the guys at work; Firefighter Ryan remains in the ICU at the Washington Hospital Center's Burn Unit, continuing his rehab and treatment for injuries sustained on April 8th in a fire in Northeast D.C. Not only have members of the DC Firefighters' Burn Foundation been sitting "watch" in the hospital with Chuckie 24/7 (to assist him with anything he or his family needs), but the guys from Engine 15 and Rescue 3 have been doing the same thing to share the load and show our support for a brother from our own house; so as it stands now, there's two firefighters at the Hospital Center at all times.
I've only been on the job for two years, and this is the unfortunate first instance that I've witnessed of a firefighter becoming seriously injured on the job; however, after pulling my own share of several watches by his bedside, I've found the unrelenting and heartfelt outpouring of support from my fellow firefighters very touching and encouraging. These back-step guys might be some ridiculous characters, but nobody ever accused them of not taking care of their brothers when they really needed it.
His spirits are amazingly high; we always knew Chuckie had heart and a great demeanor, but it really shines through now—he hasn't let his injuries faze him one bit. Good on ya, brother…
The hospital room is decorated with all manner of cards and photographs, as you can see above; but one in particular caught my eye. A letter written from an elementary school student, addressed to the five members who were injured in that fire on 48th St:
I heard what happened to you guys during that fire. I pray that you guys will get better soon. The 2 gifts in this bag represent something. The dog represents the rescue you did to those people. The angle [sic] respresents the angles [sic] above watching over you. I hope you guys like my presents.
In what seems like an oft-thankless job; when the administration is concerned about t-shirts and how new the paint is on the firehouse; when guys are willing to move their entire schedules around just to sit by someone's side…
It's nice to know there are other people who care.
Thanks, Kaitlyn. I bet you've never even met us. But thank you anyways.