Many know the “Firefighter’s Prayer,” but do you know who wrote it and what they were thinking of at the time it was written?
“When I am called to duty, God whenever flames may rage,
Give me the strength to save some life whatever be its age.
Help me to embrace a little child before it’s too late,
Or some 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 give the best in me,
To guard my neighbor and protect his property.
And if according to Your Will I have to lose my life,
Please bless with Your Protecting Hand my children and my wife.”
Today the prayer above is often thought of as simply a poem originally written by Alvin William “Smokey” Linn. According to his granddaughter, Penny McGlachlin, it is so much more. Her grandfather, Smokey Linn, joined the Wichita, Kansas Fire Department in 1947 after returning from World War II. He retired in 1975 and became president of the local chapter of the Good Sam Camping Club. Linn passed away March 31, 2004, of complications following surgery.