I’ve thankfully never experienced being close to a fire, be that a house-fire or a brushfire. The nearest I’ve come is watching a forest fire spread across the parched hills whilst working in Southern France but I unlike the firemen was personally miles away from the danger.
Many things remind me of my childhood and one thing that always makes me smile is whenever I see a fireman. Today I guess I’ll see quite a few as today being International Fireman’s Day I’d be surprised if they didn’t feature in the news quite a bit.
The reason for me smiling is immediately I see one I always think of Trumpton and Captain Flack’s Roll Call.
And every time those names were called out (well apart from one where Cuthbert had a day off) I knew there would be a cat in a tree or a hat blown on top of the bandstand or some other completely trivial matter they had to attend to. As from memory it was Cuthbert who always rode the hoist to effect the rescue, that particular day’s challenge when the shout came in must have been particularly onerous for the men in blue to cope with – someone else having to make the decision to brave the induced vertigo (I think actually Cuthbert turned up in the nick of time to save the day).
They for me were pure entertainment, they never had to fight the fires or do the true rescues but still represent the spirit of the real firemen who put themselves in harms way.
The comfort I carry with me is the real ones are there should I need them to feature in my life – in the real world Cuthbert rarely gets a day off and even if he does Pugh and Pugh and Barney McGrew and Dibble and Grub and if necessary even Captain Flack are more than willing and capable of stepping up to the mark.