A Bond of Love

When a wall collapses it makes a wooshing roaring sound that ends in a loud thud that shakes the ground. A silence follows as airborne debris and dust fills the air. Shouting and confusion kicks in as Firefighters scramble to find running mates who only moments before were preparing to fight a fire. It is a heart rending scene that many times is the turning point in the lives of those involved. It was a scene that played out for Detroit Firefighters not too many months ago at a fire on East Jefferson. The collapsing wall forever changed the lives of four of Detroit’s bravest firemen.

No lives were lost but it was, possibly, the last fire these men will ever fight. The injuries they sustained were horrendous. Bones were broken and crushed as tons of bricks and concrete block rained down on them. They were dug out by other Firefighters and quickly transported to the hospital. One of them was paralyzed from the chest down. In the blink of an eye a handsome young man was condemned to a life where he would have to depend on his loved ones to help care for him. All of them will face months and years of medical procedures and therapy to try to mend their crushed bodies.

On October 15th 2010 a consortium of Detroit Firefighters, their wives and girlfriends, concerned citizens, the Axemen Motorcycle club, and the generous owner of the Roostertail nightclub came together to throw an event that lit the light of love that has always been a part of the heart and soul of the city of Detroit. It was a fund raiser aimed at helping the four injured Firefighters. I guarantee there will be no finer event ever produced in the city for many years to come.The workers who created the fund raiser worked very hard to gather items for a silent auction. Members of all of Detroit’s professional sports teams signed all kind of items to be auctioned to the highest bidders. A night on the town for eighteen people, that included a Fireboat ride and dinner at the Roostertail, was offered for eighteen hundred dollars. Many businesses chipped in with donations up to five thousand dollars. One young lady created the large signs and logos that adorned the inside of the Roostertail. Tickets to the event were $50 and included one drink and a chance at the door prize.

My friend Charlie and I have been retired for almost twenty years but we traveled 300 miles to attend the event. We were not alone. We met many old running mates and even talked to some of the young Firefighters we had trained. They were now Captains and Chiefs. All of them came together to create this wonderful fund raiser. It was a night of love and caring. My heart was full of pride as I returned to Northern Michigan the next day. I know those four injured Firefighters will be well cared for. It is a special brother and sisterhood. I was lucky the lord let me be a part of the Fire Service for thirty years. A special thank you goes to the owner of the Roostertail and to all who were involved in this gala event.  Firefighter hearts beat as one. We are always together even if we are in different parts of the world. On October 15th, 2010 we came together to honor four brave man and let them know we will always be there for them. We thank them for their service.

Stay safe my brothers and sisters.

Donations and the purchase of T-shirts can be made by going to Facebook and opening to the F.I.R.E. link. Below is the T-shirt logo, available til Dec.


"Fire Talk" Archives

"Fire Horses" book authored by firefighter R.J. Haig.


Home PageAbout the BookFirefighting LinksAbout R. J. HaigPhoto GalleryTrail of the FirewriterFire TalkCop Talk