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The Fireman’s Prayer |

When I’m called to duty, God Angel and fireman 2
Where ever flames may rage
Give me the strength to save a life, 
Whatever be it’s age.
Help me to embrace a child
Before it is too late,
Or save an older person
From the horror of that fate.
Enable me to be alert
And hear the weakest shout,
And quickly and efficiently,

To put the fire out.
I want to fill my calling and
To give the best in me,
To guard my every neighbor and,
Protect his property.
And if according to your will
That I should lose my life,
Please bless with your protecting hand
My children and my wife


History of the Fireman's Prayer

The Fireman’s Prayer was originally published in a book called, "A Celebration of Poets" in 1958. While most accounts of the Firemen's Prayer conclude with "Author Unknown", the world renowned poem is widely believed to have been written by Firefighter A.W. "Smokey" Linn. The story goes, that as a young firefighter in 1958, Smokey and his crew responded to a fire in which three children were trapped behind security bars and died in the fire.

Having young children of his own, the only way Smokey could find to ease the pain of such a tragedy was to sit down and put his thoughts on paper. The phrase, "enable me to be alert and hear the weakest shout", sends a chill up a firefighter's spine as we can imagine what he experienced on that fateful night.

Smokey joined the Wichita, Kansas Fire Department in 1947 after returning from World War II. He retired from the Fire Department in 1975 and passed away March 31, 2004.


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