People say that today's generation's biggest problem is that they mostly just think about themselves. You can see it all around you, volunteerism is down. Getting people to give blood or platelets is like, well trying to get blood from people.
Recently after 2 separate house fires, I had the chance to experience this generation of people first hand.
During a small garage fire that was almost completely extinguished, a woman came up to me and asked me if she could get her car out. I looked over to where she was pointing, and saw that her car was blocked in by our Fire Hose that went from the Fire Hydrant to the Fire engine. Keep in mind that the Hydrant supplies the water that is helping us put out the fire.
I said, "No, I'm sorry, but you can't drive over Fire hose." You see, by driving over it, you could damage the hose by puncturing a hole in it and preventing the supply of water to the fire.
She said, "But I have to go to work!"
I said, "You'll have to call in and tell them you're going to be late."
She said, "But it's my first day of work! I can't be late!"
I said, "I don't know what to tell you. You have to call in."
She repeated herself and I told her I would check on the status of the fire, since it was almost out, and estimate how long we would be.
Luckily for her, the fire was out, and it wouldn't take too long to get her car out.
So I told her, "The fire is out, we can shut down the hydrant for a few minutes and drain the hose to move it and you can get the car out right now."
She said, "I don't have my car keys, I'll go get them."
Five to ten minutes later, she returns with her keys and leaves. I don't even think she said "Thank you."
After we put out an early morning house fire, I was back at my Fire Dept vehicle taking off my Firefighting jacket. Fighting a fire is hard work, all while wearing heavy coats, pants, boots a helmet, and a air tank on your back. As I was "suiting down," one on the occupants of the house that was on fire came up to me and asked, "Do you have any bottled water? We're thirsty."
I did understand that since it was early morning, the occupants were awakened out of bed and had to flee without eating, drinking or being able to use the bathroom as people usually do when they wake up in the morning. But the same was for us, AND we had to put out the fire. Being exhausted and thirsty myself, I was thinking, "You've GOT to be kidding, right?" Besides, a Fire Vehicle is not a food truck, the only food and drink, if any, is personal stuff brought by the individual. Anyway, I said no, and went back in the house to do the clean-up work.
Another time, we were in the clean-up stages after putting out a house fire, when we were approached by one of the neighbors. The neighbor started complaining about the smell of smoke in her house. She left her windows open and the smoke from the house fire drifted in. She wanted us to do something about it. Sorry, there's nothing we can do.
Then she came out again and complained about a few ashes that had landed in her driveway and wanted us to clean her driveway. We did get a hose and wash down her driveway. All this while we were still making sure the fire in the house was completely out and damaged item were removed from the building.