Compassion not a commodity confined to US borders

Greetings from the Ridge.
They asked Michael what had inspired him to make such a journey. He said, “We’re put here to help. When people need help it really doesn’t matter who they are or where they live.” The lean and muscular young man couldn’t stay but a moment as the reporters crowded around him and his fellow firefighters at the California airport. “Sorry,” he said. “Got some work to do,” and he hurried to jump in an awaiting SUV that would transport him to the very heart of the biggest fire in this part of the state’s history.

Michael and his twelve mates were from Australia and New Zealand, and within a few days another 140 Aussie and Kiwi firefighters would be arriving in California. They’d traveled 8600 miles to put their lives on the line for people whom they didn’t know and a country in which they didn’t live.

Rob Gore came from the Australian capital of Canberra. He said, “This thing is massive. Everything is 100 times scale.” Gore said it wasn’t unusual for firefighters to deploy across the globe. He said, “Canadians and Americans regularly fight fires in our country.” Australia and the U.S. have had an international arrangement for 18 years. Paul Baxter, the fire commissioner for New South Wales Fire and Rescue in Australia said, “This is just another battle, and this is on your home soil. To be able to come and work alongside United States crews is a fantastic country-to-country thing to do.” &nbsp;&nbsp;<ahref=""><spanstyl... 13px; color: rgb(0, 0, 0);">To view more, please log in or subscribe to the digital edition.</span></a></p>