The internet is a strange thing. It is a great equalizer even while providing opportunities never before possible.
Michael Morse recently spoke of Blog Snobbery over at Rescuing Providence. It allowed me to reflect on why any of us blog about anything at all.
This blog is not all that popular in the world of Fire and EMS blogs, and I'd be the first to acknowledge that I'm not much of an expert, nor do I have years and years of inner-city or busy suburban fire and EMS experience from which to form my views.
As an aside, I am killing the top ratings of power dispatcher blogs. Woo hoo! Perhaps this is because, as far as I know, this is the only one out there.
It amazes me that I get any love at all, really. Most of my favorite blogs have added this one to their blogrolls. This astounds and humbles me. I am not worthy. When the blogs run by the Happy Medic and MotorCop were on the rise, I was inspired by their examples to start this one, from a mutual desire to vent a little on the side.
So I am sitting here tonight, thinking about my very young days. Even as a teenager when I realized firefighting was something I'd like to do, I remember visiting the fire station in my neighborhood to learn more and absorb from the guys. I remember their stories. Mostly laughs, a lot of rants, a few holy-crap-how-did-we-do-that moments, and every once in a great while someone would open up a little on bad calls.
I reflect on those guys, now all retired, part of a great generation of the fire service in the 70s and 80s. Bigger than life, and I know I can never measure up to that standard.
But somehow, thanks to the internet, I write a little blog. And I get readers who I esteem highly, that I would probably be afraid to approach at FDIC or Emmitsburg or wherever. I will never be able to accept that anything I write is ever going to measure up to how I look up to those guys from back in the day. Yet I continue to be - for lack of a better word, astonished - that I ever get quoted or commented on by so many whom I hold in high esteem.
Really, one day I am sure you guys will figure out that I really am a nobody. A dedicated and occasionally humorous one sometimes, but not otherwise a contributor of note.
This service is filled with nobodies. To those we serve, none of us are nobodies, though. While we are rarely recognized for what we do, I know that we make a huge difference. We are nobodies who work hard, train hard, live right, operate with integrity and honor.
Few of us will have our names written on anything that will see the light of day after five or so years of our retirements. But here we are.
I still can't comprehend that I am a card-carrying part of this brotherhood even after almost 20 years of membership. It means something, and is an exclusive group.
So I am forced to conclude that I am not a nobody, that none of us are. That we all are capable of contributing without going down in history.
And my part is to write a silly little whiny blog. A few laughs good for the heart, and maybe a couple of brothers who learn something about power lines enough to save their own lives or others.
That's worth it, I guess.
I'm not sure I ever made the point that I vaguely had in mind when I started rambling, but this seems like a good place for me to shut up and reflect some more.
Update late 4/15: Per the comment added by Chicken Little, see also this post at Firehouse Zen.