My sincerest wishes for strength and grace to Captain Jason Farley’s family, and my warmest regards to Lieutenant Zane James. Godspeed, Captain. Speedy recovery, Lieutenant. Our community has come together in an unprecedented way following the great loss of Captain Farley. I have never been so proud of my town. Well done.
My brother is a veteran of the Tulsa Fire Department – nearly twenty years, like our Captain Farley. There are only three people on this green Earth who could possibly be prouder of him than I, and that’s his wife, his daughter and our mother. The job he signed up for is grueling, both physically and mentally. And yet, much like virtually all firefighters, he thinks of himself as a regular guy. He likes to go fishing and plays a little guitar and loves his family. And in those respects, he is a regular guy. But we all know firefighters are so much more than that.
Imagine you are lined up with hundreds of other people and you are asked if you would like to volunteer for a job that entails responding to medical emergencies; cutting people from crushed cars; rescuing people from burning buildings; staying awake over twenty-four hours at a time on a regular basis; and exposure to danger and unexpected situations every time you reported to work. How many people do you think would step forward? Would you take that job? Our firefighters not only took the job, they competed to get it and worked hard to make the cut. Fire departments want and need the best. Firefighters are smart. They are capable. They cannot be anything else. The fact that they consider themselves so ordinary only makes them more extraordinary.
In my humble opinion, any person who willingly accepts the risk involved with being a firefighter is a hero every single day they report to the station. Captain Farley’s last act as a civil servant was, without doubt or question, both brilliant and heartbreaking. He was always a hero, though. Every shift, for nearly twenty years.
-by Julie Jones