Saturday In Possum Kingdom…..

Well as most of you know I am one of the few who is proud to say I am from Possum Kingdom. I guess that happens when you are the fire chief for many years. Of course, being from Possum Kingdom has its disadvantages. For instance, there is only one college, so if the kids don’t want to go to Possum Kingdom University, then they must travel a long ways away just to go to a fancy named college. Of course being from Possum Kingdom has it’s advantages also, for instance everybody knows everybody, except the ones who have slipped in here from places far away like Greenville & Anderson, but we will learn them soon enough. Well I guess I should stop about my heritage because my wife says I just talk too much, I think she is still trying to avoid saying she is from Possum Kingdom. Of course I am sure she could educate me a lot, being from West Pelzer.

OK enough, I wanted to update every one since I have not posted anything lately, but not a lot has changed, still good days and bad days but God is in control and I am just along for the ride and with God driving I will survive. I sure do hope all of you are doing great. It is tough sometimes being a house husband and stay at home Dad, as my lovely wife like to call me. I did however go to Anderson this week and have blood drawn for the folks in Charleston. On Friday they called me and stated that my blood work looked better than before, my MELD score has dropped to a 15, but they said that did not change a thing. They told me I was #1 on the list, O blood type list and everything was still on go. Speaking of being ready to go my family is on pins and needles; every time I call I have to let them know real fast that this is not the call to go to Charleston. OK I will admit that every time the phone rings I am trying to see who is calling before I can even answer the phone. We have our bags packed and have tried to figure out as much as possible how to make leaving real fast. Speaking of packed bags, I have a black bag packed and if someone was to stop me and ask what’s in the bag I could not answer them. The contents of the bag apparently are minor concerns, and I guess I am not to trouble myself with minor concerns, because I was told here is you bag ready to go, don’t take anything out of it. I translated that as it is packed, don’t bother it; you know those minor concern type things. I have been good I have just pushed it around some with my foot, nothing has happened so I am sure it is safe.

A great friend sent me this note this morning and I would like to post it for you, Thanks Jan. Remember Sept. 11 is coming fast, please remember 9/11 and all who gave so much and those who are still giving.

The lives of Emergency Responders

I wish you could know what it is like to search a burning bedroom for trapped children at 3 AM, flames rolling above your head, your palms and knees burning as you crawl, the floor sagging under your weight as the kitchen below you burns.

I wish you could comprehend a wife’s horror at 6 in the morning as I check her husband of 40 years for a pulse and find none. I start CPR anyway, hoping to bring him back, knowing intuitively it is too late. But wanting his wife and family to know everything possible was done to try to save his life.

I wish you knew the unique smell of burning insulation, the taste of soot-filled mucus, the feeling of intense heat through your turnout gear, the sound of flames crackling, the eeriness of being able to see absolutely nothing in dense smoke-sensations that I’ve become too familiar with.

I wish you could read my mind as I respond to a building fire “Is this a false alarm or a working fire? How is the building constructed? What hazards await me? Is anyone trapped?” Or to call, “What is wrong with the patient? Is it minor or life-threatening? Is the caller really in distress or is he waiting for us with a 2×4 or a gun?”

I wish you could be in the emergency room as a doctor pronounces dead the beautiful five-year old girl that I have been trying to save during the past 25 minutes, who will never go on her first date or say the words, “I love you Mommy” again.

I wish you could know the frustration I feel in the cab of the engine, squad, or my personal vehicle, the driver with his foot pressing down hard on the pedal, my arm tugging again and again at the air horn chain, as you fail to yield the right-of-way at an intersection or in traffic. When you need us however, your first comment upon our arrival will be, “It took you forever to get here!”

I wish you could know my thoughts as I help extricate a girl of teenage years from the remains of her automobile. “What if this was my daughter, sister, my girlfriend or a friend? What was her parent’s reaction going to be when they opened the door to find a police officer with hat in hand?”

I wish you could know how it feels to walk in the back door and greet my parents and family, not having the heart to tell them that I nearly did not come back from the last call.

I wish you could know how it feels dispatching officers, firefighters and EMT’s out and when we call for them and our heart drops because no one answers back or to here a bone chilling 911 call of a child or wife needing assistance.I wish you could feel the hurt as people verbally, and sometimes physically, abuse us or belittle what we do, or as they express their attitudes of “It will never happen to me.”

I wish you could realize the physical, emotional and mental drain or missed meals, lost sleep and forgone social activities, in addition to all the tragedy my eyes have seen.

I wish you could know the brotherhood and self-satisfaction of helping save a life or preserving someone’s property, or being able to be there in time of crisis, or creating order from total chaos.

I wish you could understand what it feels like to have a little boy tugging at your arm and asking, “Is Mommy okay?” Not even being able to look in his eyes without tears from your own and not knowing what to say. Or to have to hold back a long time friend who watches his buddy having CPR done on him as they take him away in the Medic Unit. You know all along he did not have his seat belt on. A sensation that I have become too familiar with.

Unless you have lived with this kind of life, you will never truly understand or appreciate who I am, we are, or what our job really means to us…I wish you could though. Because, they are doing the job, that no one else wants to do.


Author Unknown

God Bless You and Be Careful,


2 Responses to “”

  1. Kelly Says:

    Pelham, You have been a roll modle in my life for many years. At the age of 10 years old I watched you at fires, and told my mom that I wont to do his job. My mom said to me that I just wanted the gun and hancuffs, but I seen beyond those and was looking at a real hero. Everytime I seen you I told everyone that you were the real “Bad Boy.” Firefighters would guide your car in and everyone wanted to talk to you. I looked up to you as I’m sure many people do. At Christmas time every year we would go to my famley’s house and wate for your christmas story! God dont make no junk, and he truly broke the mold and made a new path for firefighters everywhere when he made you.
    Pelham your a true HERO FROM God. We miss you and love you dearly!
    and when you head off on your trip
    remember our hats go off for you.
    Love Kelly and Bill Alewine
    Cheddar and Belton fire dept.

  2. debbie Says:

    Our prayers are with you and your family.
    Every since Huff has been with the fire service, Christmas after we have had breakfast we kinda sit and wait for the Christmas Story. It is a regular that nothing is ever started until you are finished.
    Like someone else wrote, God didn’t make any junk when he made you. You are very special to all fire departments and every one associated with them.
    God bless you and we wish you the best. We know that you ride in the same vehicle that we ride in–the one that God is the driver of.

    The Huff Family
    David’s Family

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