There was a sizable blaze in the Houston area last week that injured more than one dozen firefighters, and was reported to be the deadliest in the century old history of the Houston Fire Department (HFD).  But, the motel/restaurant fire was just the backstory.  Sadly, four firefighters lost their lives.

In 1967, you could find Jay Thorner and I peddling our metal "fire engine trucks" down the sidewalk.  We would both try and emulate the swirling siren sound with are voices, as we rang the bell for walkers to clear a path.

Today, Jay is retired after serving 30 years behind the hose, and can remember each call that he responded to during that time with his razor sharp memory.  Too many times, he told me, the scenes were so harrowing, that he would give odds on himself, surviving the fire he was battling.

It's during these conversations that you step back, take a deep breath, and wonder what drives a human being to work in the face of extreme danger day in and day out.  Make no mistake about it, Jay loved his "job".

The Houston Astros will honor those four fallen heroes by wearing special "HFD" patches during their next homestand against The Baltimore Orioles.  Firefighters and their immediate families will also get free tickets.  Yes, only a symbolic gesture, but nontheless, one needed, and appreciated, for those who ride daily in a red truck to orange flames.