Only The Brave

      Most of us run away from danger to survive; they run toward danger to fight.


      Mr. Corda grew up in Wellesley, and went through school there. He wanted to become a firefighter, like his wife’s father and grandfather. He went to the Massachusetts Fire Academy and learned how to put out various fires and rescue people in different scenarios. The proudest moment of his career was being promoted to lieutenant.

          Every day in the morning at 9 am and in the evening at 6pm, the fire fighters went through routine training and testing. Neighbors would hear blaring sirens. When ambulance was called for, a fire truck would join the mission, in case extra helping hands were needed.


          Through Mr. Corda’s career and over the years, fire incidents in Wellesley decreased. Most emergencies were car fires and house fires that are confined to one room. Most incidents happened during the afternoon.


           During our interview, a fellow firefighter patted Mr. Corda on the shoulder, the way brothers would do to each other. “We are one big family here,” he explained. Yes, they were, bounded by life and bravery.


           On a lighter note, I asked about unusual incidents, which did not involve real fire, such as rescuing a cat stranded in a tree, like what we had all read in the newspaper. He sat back and smiled.


           One warm summer evening six months into his job, the kind of time and day when people would sit on their porches under the setting sun, a gray station wagon screeched to a stop in front of their station. Mr. Corda and others on duty dashed out, the para-medic carrying their emergency gear. A woman stepped out of the car and looked panicked. Her tan labradoodle had puppies! She could find all of them except one. But she could hear it barking. Turns out, the puppy was in the pocket of the car’s door. And rescuing cats? Of course. He once had to climb a really tall tree and also endure long deep scratches.


            Finally, I asked Mr. Corda for his advice for teenagers.


            “Keep out of trouble,” he said.

The fire engines in the fire house.

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