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A brief response to the firefighter who suggested I kill myself

I guarantee this person would never have said something so ugly in person




By Michael Morse, FireRescue1 Contributor

Here’s a nice fan letter from a firefighter, Michael xxxxx from Kansas City, making us all proud:

“I will, and have had, a great career. I try to model myself after “great” fireman, because those are the fireman we must/need to look up to learn our (fireman) profession. You are merely a cancer to the fire profession, please take one of two options:

1. Extend your dominant hand, ball up your fist, then repeatedly punch yourself in the face until you are comatose, or

2. Extend your dominant hand, grip a pistol, insert pistol into your mouth (as so many cocks you have in the past), pull trigger until you are dead or hear a click-click (hopefully, you will be a vegetable).”

He didn’t like my article. After I read it in its published form, I didn’t like it that much either. I forget that lots of people who read my articles have no idea who I am, how I think and what I stand for. For many, that article is the first they ever heard of Michael Morse.

In the article, I mention my personal feelings about dying on the job. I’m not a fan. I don’t want anybody to die on the job, or because of it.

I used to bore my partners to death with my endless speeches concerning the futility of dying to save another; a life for a life. I still believe that it is absurd to think that a firefighter thinks he or she should willingly give up their life in a hopeless situation. I won’t go on and on about the sanctity of life, risking a lot to save a lot, risking a little to save a little, the number of times I’ve risked my own life to save another or the importance of giving the job our all; that stuff is fundamental to firefighting.

Every LODD is a tragedy. Those who die doing the job make the ultimate sacrifice. They died so that others may live.

I can say that, anybody who wears the uniform can say it, family and friends of the fallen can say it. When politicians and newscasters say it I lose my marbles a little. I forgot to mention that in the article, some people were offended, and rightly so. Some people went on and on about my being an EMS officer with no right to comment on fire-related topics regardless of my 12 years on “the trucks.” That’s fine. Really, it is. I cannot control what others think, and as long as they don’t cross the line, don’t really care.

The firefighter who wrote that I should punch myself into a coma or shoot myself in the head is, unfortunately, a product of the “all about me” social media crowd. I guarantee he would never have said something so ugly in person. The anonymity of the internet allows people to think and act like murderers, spoiled brats and people undeserving of the title Firefighter.

I’m considering sending a copy of the article and subsequent commentary to the Chief of Department in Kansas City. I’ve never been a rat, but I did make a pledge not too long ago to stop allowing people to act like idiots, and this, by any sane person’s definition, is idiotic.

I’ll give it a few days, probably let it go, but wow, there are some nuts out there!

*Michael Morse is a rescue captain with the Providence Fire Department and the author of Rescuing Providence and Responding. He has worked on engine, ladder and rescue companies during his 21-year career. His current assignment is Rescue Company 5. Michael blogs at

Uniform Stories features a variety of contributors. These sources are experts and educators within their profession. Uniform Stories covers an array of subjects like field stories, entertaining anecdotes, and expert opinions.
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