Crossing the Fire Line

Gloria Bullman Psy D, Preface by Alan Brunacini

Firefighters as seen by a psychologist in bunker gear Dr. Gloria Bullman was given the rare privilege of spending days and nights in firehouses across North America riding to calls on engines, ladder trucks, rescues, squads and a helicopter. This psychologist shows the impact of line-of-duty death reaching far beyond the fallen firefighters and their families, also engulfing the extended family that is the brotherhood (which includes the sisters) that is the fire service. It was her expertise in helping emergency services personnel with traumatic losses that took her into the firehouses, and she tells something of this cost of being part of the fire service and something of the healing. Ride along through the Tenderloin in the San Francisco Tony Bennett doesnt sing about, on an FDNY Squad and with paid and volunteer firefighters in rural and urban settings. Learn why the best food you can ever eat is handmade Italian ice eaten just as you come off a structure fire. Much of firefighters lives are lived behind the closed bay doors, in privacy, while their work is done in public, often with watching crowds and TV crews. Very few people ever get a close-up view of both sides. The reader gets to climb into the engine and see the transition of the crew as they physically and mentally prepare themselves for whatever they find when they reach the place that people need their help and observe their response in pulling hose, swinging axes, extricating a patient from entrapment in a crushed car or carrying a victim from a fire. You will feel the changes as they fully commit to that person they have never met before being pulled back into life, that person they have come to save in their darkest moments. Heroes are ordinary people, choosing to do extraordinary things in the service of others. Live and ride with these heroes as they save lives and property, then go back to the firehouse and wash the dinner dishes. You will laugh and you might cry, but you will come away with a new understanding of who firefighters are and what they do.