I was so excited a few weeks ago when I found out that BURN was coming to my hometown of Richmond Va. It came to DC a few months ago but I just could not make it up there to see it. This time I was not going to miss it and I am glad I didn’t!
I was able to attend the opening night festivities and it was a blast hanging out with a bunch of fireman, drinking a few frosty beverages, and they really did the event up with one of Richmond Fire’s Quints out front of the theatre, vendors, and food from the Halligan Bar and Grill owned and operated by Retired Henrico Fire Lt. Shawn Gregory. Here are a few pictures:
At about 10 mins to 7 they ushered us into the theatre and it was time for the movie! WARNING SPOILER ALERT!
The movie itself was great, it shows the true story of a city that has lost control and the firefighters who risk their life daily to try to protect it. The biggest problem and biggest debate is the 80,000 vacant homes in the city and how to deal with them. Some of the fireman think that every fire no matter what they should be going in because some of the homeless people use these as homes to squat in. The new Fire commissioner feels that if they are no danger to occupied homes and no one is in them to let them burn.
The 2 stories that spoke to me the most were of Dave Parnell and “Doogie”
Parnell as he is called is getting ready to retire after 30 plus years with the department. About 5 months before hs retirement his wife dies and now he is faced with living the rest of his life without his wife, or his fire department. This made me think a lot about my own retirement. While I am a ways off, all I have done since I was 15 years old was be a fireman. What will I do, and who will I be without the fire department. Sure I will still visit the stations and what not but I will not be pushing in, driving the rigs, going on EMS call, I will not be in the department anymore. It gives me a sick feeling in my stomach just thinking about it.
Brendan or “Doogie” came on the job as a 19-year-old firefighter and 11 years later he is in a wheel chair as a result of injuries received at a building collapse. Again this spoke to me because I have been involved in the fire service since a very young age, and have literally zero other skills in my life. All of my training, education, and choices have been based on whats best for my fire service career. If I was hurt today how would I survive, what would I do?
This movie will speak to you and make you think. It will also make you appreciate what you have both in you personal and Fire Department lives. This is a MUST SEE FILM! It was so good I went to see it again with my shift from work this past Sunday.
A big shout out goes to a group of fireman from the City of Richmond who with some Union help brought this film here for us all to enjoy.
This story needs to be told, get this movie to your town or go see it in another town. Go to http://www.detroitfirefilm.org/ for more information on how to bring it to you and how to give donations. Lets et this movie in every major US city and get it put out on DVD.
As usual thanks for reading, spread the word, and STAY SAFE!