Posted May 02, 2018 12:23:14Florida’s Volunteer Firefighters are often criticized for not doing enough to help the homeless.
It’s a topic that’s still a hot topic among volunteers, many of whom have taken to social media to share their own stories of being forced to do what’s best for the homeless and the communities they serve.
But that hasn’t stopped the mascot from sharing his own personal story, and sharing it in the spirit of helping the homeless with a simple message to anyone who’s been in the fire service.
“When you can do more, please do more,” the mascot wrote in a tweet Wednesday.
“Help the homeless!”
Volunteer firefighters from across the state responded to the tweet and wrote in their own comments, sharing their own experiences.
“I was in the same fire station as someone in the street who was being kicked out for not coming up to the ladder, or getting on the firetruck,” wrote a Florida Firefighter from St. Petersburg.
“He was standing on the side of the road waiting to be taken out.
That’s not right.”
In addition to sharing stories of his own, the firefighter wrote about being kicked from the firehouse because he didn’t get his shift extended.
“So, after a few days of sitting in the truck, he finally gets up and leaves,” the firefighter told WKMG-TV.
“I was like, ‘That’s not fair.’
He wasn’t getting paid for his time and I was like ‘I just wanted to get out of there.'”
A few other Florida firefighters shared similar stories about being fired for being late to a shift or being late for an appointment.
“The firehouse is a really hard place,” wrote another Florida firefighter from Jacksonville.
“They’re not always ready to move people out.
They have to move the people in and then you have to do all the moving and cleaning up and doing all the other stuff to get people ready to come in and get the job done.””
I got a couple people that got fired for not moving out in a timely fashion.
One was from a month ago,” wrote the firefighter in Orlando.
“So they’ve been working so hard to get to where they are.”
The Florida Volunteer Fire Fighters are often critical of their fellow firemen.
In their own words, they’re often criticized by their colleagues.
“It’s not an easy job,” wrote one firefighter from Tampa.
“It takes time, and it takes a lot of hard work.
You don’t want to be in a position where you have a bad day.
You just want to make sure you’re doing everything you can.”
And in their tweets, they’ve also talked about being criticized for doing things like not putting their hands in the air when they’re making a call, not taking the time to call for help, or not giving other people their time and attention when they need it.
“We need to be proud of our men and women and their dedication to helping others and the fire department is just one of the things that keeps us going,” wrote Florida Firefighters from Jacksonville and Tampa.
“Just remember to make your voice heard when you see someone that needs help.
You can’t do that on your own,” wrote Orlando Firefighters.
“When you see the person that needs it, then you can make your own decision.
But you can be proud to be a volunteer.”
And some of the Florida Volunteer firefighters have even posted personal stories about their own struggles with homelessness on social media.
“This was my last shift,” wrote St. Pete Firefighter and Volunteer Firefighter James Smith.
“My wife and I were working at a gas station.
I was trying to find a job and couldn’t find one.”
The St. Petersons are now working as a realtor in their spare time and have since gotten married.
“One of the reasons we did it was because we couldn’t make ends meet,” said Smith.
“Now we have our first family, and we love being a fireman,” he added.
“We can’t wait to get back out there and help people.”