Ryan Bridge: We don't care about our firefighting heroes like we should

Opinion 23/10/2019

I've got friends who fight fires, and they are nothing short of heroes. 

They run towards the flames, and they leave their families at home in the middle of the night to save yours. 

Firefighters run towards danger, but you won't hear them complain or moan about it.

They love their work, and they love their workmates. They care about saving lives and property. 

As a journalist, I've seen them pull people out of burning homes. I've seen them show genuine care and compassion for people whose lives have been turned upside down by the unexpected. 

They care, and here's the problem; we don't care about them. 

They're pretty poorly paid for the work they do - especially those based in Auckland, where living costs are higher. 

Newbies can start on as little as 40-something thousand dollars per year. Would that be enough to get you into a burning building? 

And let's not mention the fact that PTSD and suicide rates are up, as they battle more and more medical call-outs. 

I wanted to take this opportunity on Wednesday morning to say thank you.

Thank you to the men and women who have been battling this blaze in Aucklandovernight. Thank you for your hard work.

To all the first responders and emergency services, your efforts are appreciated by the rest of us. Thanks for keeping us safe.

Ryan Bridge is a co-host of The AM Show & regular host of Magic Talk Drive.