Encouragement · Hope · Relationship

Who rescues the rescuers?

How does Ryan Shines help support our Firefighters?

We’re building a community at Ryan Shines that recognizes that Firefighters are stronger when they face their daily internal reality together and head-on.

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We want this community of trust to be available to every Career&Volunteer&Retired Firefighter in America.

We want to show them that Firefighters don’t ever have to live or die alone.

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So we will join their band of brothers and sisters from across the state to form a support network for the mental and physical health of their fellow Firefighters by providing trained assistance through a  “Firefighter Peer Support” Team.

Let me tell you the story about a Fire Chief in Alabama. His name is Mark Sealy and he oversees 24 fire stations in Mobile.

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His best friend, a fellow Firefighter, suffered and died from PTSD.

All he knew was to self-medicate.

That’s the day when the Chief really ‘got it.’

His friend had survived every emergency that Firefighters face but his ‘internal Civil War’ took him out.

So, Mark not only knows everything first hand about firefighting but he has also been at the center of personal tragedy himself.

And he’s so open and eager that our common dream of ‘Peer Support’ take root and grow.

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In other words,  we ‘drank the kool-aid.’

I wish I could clone him and send him to every fire station in the country.

This is what we are developing in our own circle of influence.

We have created our first of many statewide Support Teams called “Alabama Firefighter Peer Support” at Ryan Shines.

Now, I am not fluent in ‘Firefighter,’ but I do understand personal trauma and the aftermath (PTSD), and the importance of finding friends you can trust.

You’ll find men and women with whom you can speak in a kind of  ‘shorthand’ because they intimately know the words and the feelings that have been burned into their brain since their first fire. 

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Ryan

Every day I wish Ryan was here. But when I look at all we’re doing together, he is no less than the engine driving us, and his is the Shining that lights our way.

 

dawn

BTW-(If this is something that you would like to support, please visit us at www.ryanshines.com or follow us on FB and IG @dawnraymondhirn)

Friendship · Relationship

Giving their lives

Can you imagine every time you go off to work you’re putting yourself in harm’s way?

(And here I am afraid of roaches.) 

Having met hundreds of Firefighters, every time I watch them work together, I am stunned by their compassionate Souls.

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And their instinct to rescue, anyone or anything that is in danger.

It’s in their DNA. These remarkable people are a breed apart.

A blind man can see that.

So, let me ask you, “Would you consider running into fires for a living?” They do. Everyday.

I’m not saying they’re gods.

They are human beings like us.

But it’s their passion that sets them apart. It is their curse and their blessing.

They live between a rock and a soft place. 

Trust me, I know what I’m talking about here.

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I live in the South. In Alabama.

Can you believe that we’re ranked #2 in Firefighter suicide over work-related deaths in our country? And it’s prevalent nationwide. 

In the face of all this, I feel ashamed for not observing that these quiet heroes, imprisoned by workplace heartache and trauma, want to end their lives.

Why don’t they just ask for help? Because…

It’s not in their job description. Their job is to save others, not themselves.

Which means that it’s our job to support those who risk it all to rescue others.  

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Next week, I’d like to talk about how Ryan Shines offers support.

dawn

BTW-(If this is something that you would like to support, please visit us at www.ryanshines.com or follow us on FB and IG @dawnraymondhirn)

 

Encouragement · Hope · Relationship

Hero-to-Hero

In 2018, we expanded our ‘Blessings umbrella’ to include Firefighters.

I had no idea how much our Firefighters go through emotionally and physically. Even sacrificially.

All I really knew is that they like to fish.

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Heroes&Hooks/Catching Courage Bass Fishing Tournament 2019

So, we created a fishing event called “Catching Courage,” including both Burn Survivors and Firefighters at the same event.

Part of our mission at Ryan Shines Burn Foundation is to get both groups together at one place for bonding, healing, and serious fun!

We are creating a safe place where our Survivors and Firefighters can be together, fish together, and reconnect after the fire.

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Catching Courage 2018 – Survivors & Firefighters

That’s why our mission is so rare.

I wish you could see both groups enjoying each other and asking each other real life-questions.

We didn’t know what to expect.

I thought the kids might be shy but they talked with each other on the same level: Hero-to-Hero!

This year, we continue honoring both groups in a Saltwater Fishing Tournament (“Catching Courage”).

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It will involve multi-state Firefighters and it will be hosted by our ‘First Mates,’ our youth Burn Survivors.

Our hope is that every youth Burn Survivor and Firefighter leaves for home with a full heart; encouraged and more courageous as they learn to tell their story and catch everyday courage from each other.

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Catching Courage 2018  Islamorada, FL

dawn

PS- Next time, I’d like for us to talk about ‘the sacrifices our Firefighters make.’

BTW-(If this is something that you would like to support, please visit us at www.ryanshines.com or follow us on FB and IG @dawnraymondhirn)

Family · Relationship

I found it in the Dark

I’m thinking about the big Blessing that happened to me.hand dark

I’m still not sure if I found it or it found me.

But I’ve got to tell you what was weird about it.

I found it in the Dark, not in the Light.

I couldn’t see my hand in front of my face.

Do you remember the story of the policeman who was going out the door to work the night shift and dropped his keys in the grass?

His wife came out to help him look.

He was walking up and down the curb.

His wife asked him, “Is that where you lost them?”

He said, “No, but the light’s much better here.”

I think that’s true for all of us.

We assume our Blessing is dancing in front of us in the light because that would make it easier to find.

But don’t forget, it took me 14 years to find it, and when I found it I knew immediately that the Blessing wasn’t for me to keep.

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I was Blessed to be a Blessing to others.

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Dawn          

 

 

 

 

I’ll tell you how the Blessing grew next time…

 

Family · Friendship · Relationship

Com-PAN-ioning

“The word is ‘’pan.’’

It means ‘’bread’’ in most every language.

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Trenton & Colton w/ Singapore friends

It suggests that ‘’breaking bread” together is at the heart of our companioning with God, family, and friends.

This is the center of our journey together that we’ve talked so much about.

There is an episode in the Book of Revelation where Jesus says, “I am knocking at your door. If you will answer and let me come in, we will eat together” (Rev. 3:20).  

What if Jesus is saying that eating together is a key to building relationships?

That he would choose food that we are homesick for?  A table is heavy with good grub. Think back for a moment over all the great meals you’ve shared. 

Did you ever feel that the one sitting across from you is the richest choice on the menu?

bread companioning.jpgIt suggests that ‘’breaking bread” together is at the heart of our companioning with God, family, and friends.

This is a part of our journey together that we’ve talked so much about.

There is an episode in the Book of Revelation where Jesus says, “I am knocking at your door. If you will answer and let me come in, we will eat together” (Rev. 3:20).  

Jesus might be saying that eating together is key to building relationships. Think back for a moment over all the great meals you’ve shared. 

Did you ever feel that the one sitting across from you was the richest choice on the menu?Screen Shot 2019-02-20 at 3.39.44 PM.png

dawn

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Faith · Family travel · Hope · Relationship

My heart / God’s home

Pre-accident, I only knew God from a distance, more like a ‘sky-God.’

Many of us were taught how to pray to the ‘sky-God’ in heaven. woman & cross keem-ibarra-560576-unsplash

After the accident, I found God, or God found me, and I learned that prayer is conversational.

God had come to live in my heart, not in the sky.

As my Faith grew, I began to grow too.

I was given Wisdom, a spoonful at a time.

For instance, I realized that Ryan was a Gift given to me, not a Gift taken away. 

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Ryan ’94

From the beginning, I felt honored that God entrusted Ryan to me, but more than that, God entrusted himself to me in an intimate ‘horizontal’ relationship.

dawn

Feel free to comment or add your story.

 

Hope · Relationship · sisterhood

Engaging all God’s children

I believe that God’s intention for us on earth is to grow spiritually, mentally, physically and emotionally in our Relationships.Screen Shot 2019-02-20 at 2.44.36 PM.png

Even God is a Relationship: Father, Son, Holy Spirit. God is a Trinity.

A Threesome. 

Through our connections beyond ourselves, we learn trust, understanding, and love.

I (we) have an instinctive need to commune with women, moms, and soulish peers who explore deep, emotional connections with their fellow human beings.

Don’t you think that this comes with age and all of our life experiences?

Like small earthquakes, our plates shift from one priority to the next.

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For me, I have shifted out from under materialism into shared ‘horizontal’ relationships–no one above, no one below, everybody on the same level.

So while I clearly see the importance of our ‘stuff,’ what we need most is to engage, ‘’all God’s children’’ wherever we are, whoever they are. 

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Hirns in India

dawn

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