Fire and Ice

| April 2, 2017


A large winter storm is bearing down on a major metropolitan Mid-Atlantic US city. The National Weather Service has forecast possible record snowfall amounts with very high winds. Schools are closing early; businesses are letting their employees leave. A snow day for the kids. Havoc for emergency personnel.

The firefighters of the PGFD are preparing for the coming blizzard. Equipment is being serviced, and fuel tanks are topped off. Additional manpower is being called into work and the Emergency Operations Center is activated. They are also responding to an increased number of emergencies. Vehicle accidents, physical assaults, drug overdoses, and false alarms; the calls keep coming into the dispatch center.

As the snow begins to fall and the winds gain strength, in one part of the city workers are illegally handling a tank of an extremely volatile substance. The dangerous material should not even be in the building. But the profit margin has, once again, taken priority over safety. Their actions will have horrific results and put the city in catastrophic danger. Before the day is over, multiple fires, fanned by the strong winds, will be burning out of control.

Seen as heroes by the community, the men and women of the PGFD are also human. Just like everyone else, they share all the complexities of the human heart. These firefighters will face the dangers of the job, as they have always done, without hesitation. On this day, however, they will feel fear, courage, love, and betrayal. Some will rise to their professional and personal challenges; others will not. Many of them will not live to see the day end.

This is the story of that day and of these men and women. It is told as it should be; hard-hitting and gut wrenching, because this is their story.

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