Bill - I agree with all you said. I was fortunate to see a lot growing up in the period you described and admire all who served, starting with my father. That said, I also want to note that the young members working in our firehouses today are motivated, well-trained, smart. They are very good - firefighters, EMTs, paramedics. 50 years ago, I was amazed to see guys go from one fire to the next, over and over - all night long. They had rubber coats and boots, leather helmets, axes and operated without - masks, individual radio, thermal imaging camera, FAST trucks, safety officer etc. They were remarkable. Today, however, members have to be able to respond to 5 or 6 EMS calls a night - diagnose and stabilize heart attacks and strokes - start IV lines - administer drugs - and still be able to respond to structural fires, HAZMAT incidents, car accidents. Asleep at 3:00AM - trying to find a pulse at 3:04AM - performing Emergency Room-type procedures at 3:07AM. Maybe there are as many or more lives saved today on tough ALS medical calls as there used to be pulling fire victims out of burning tenaments. The job has changed a lot - but it also has not changed a lot.