I Met Some True Community Servants Today
I had the honor of meeting some of the 'Dotte firefighters today from our neighborhood station. They were at K-Mart spending some time with the community. I truly don't think they know how much they are appreciated in this community (or any community for that matter). With that in mind, I'd like to dedicate these few words to my brother-in-law and favorite firefighter Chris Wolters, Battalion Chief at HQ in Leavenworth, Kansas. I will always admire you for your service and courage.
I think that for at least some time in most boys' (and some girls too) childhoods when asked "What do you want to be when you grow up?", the response was "A Fireman! They get to drive the fire truck, put out fires (which seem so harmless as a kid for some reason), and wear those cool uniforms!" As an adult I can tell just by looking at them; those uniforms can't possibly be "cool" in the literal meaning of the word. They look heavy. Pulling that hose (or doing anything for that matter) in all that gear looks like serious hard work. Fire hurts, smoke kills, and wheeling that monster-truck around in metro traffic has got to be a test of patience, especially knowing that every second counts when trying to reach your destination. Let's not even go into what you're liable to find when you get to an auto accident or something of the sort. Crews like this are generally the first responders to a lot of emergencies. It's amazing how glamorous we all thought the job was.
The people that wear that uniform are a special breed. Firemen aren't granted power, authority, or the promise of blowing things up (I know for a fact there were several in my howitzer battery that were there specifically for that reason for example). I'm sure there are aspects of the job that people like, but I can't imaging someone could last as a fireman without the right mindset and a huge dose of "heart of servitude". The work is hard. The pay is laughable considering what they do. They risk their lives for our community and often run into danger as we are running out. Since I'm a photographer, I thought I might show them a little of my gratitude in the form of a few photos.
Thanks guys for what you do! You are the true Rock Stars! Godspeed!
Feel free to download any of these photos for any purpose. They are license and cost free. If anyone at the station would like to print any of these, please email me. I will remove the watermark and get you a more suitable file for print. Thanks again!
Image particulars: The sun was strait on. Since this meeting was happenstance and I was on my way to a completely different kind of shoot, I had no neutral density filter on my lenses. My style is more of a grunge look, so I shot a little hot at ISO 800 @ F7.1 to F8 with a super quick shutter (1/800-1/1000). Theres one B/W at the end of the gallery that ended up a little too hot, but savable. The guys were great, as if they were used to the camera, so they got no direction from me other that "Just do you.". The truck actually helped a lot, providing a contrast point (backdrop) for me to work with in Lightroom. After tweaking in Lightroom I tried to pull them all into Photoshop for my usual Hi-Pass Filter and the works, but they really didn't need it. If this were a pre-planned session, I would have used a little fill flash and made sure my ISO was at 100, so I could run my Photoshop process.