When firefighters are in the news, it's because something terrible has happened. On a good day, we hear about people rescued and amazing acts of courage and skill. On a bad day, we hear about people losing their lives--even the firefighters who routinely perform the miraculous. 

On December  8, one firefighter lost his life battling a three-alarm blaze in a triple decker on Worcester's Arlington Street. Local media reported that John Davies, a 17-year veteran firefighter, was killed when he was searching the building for residents and a wall collapsed. A second firefighter, Brian Carroll, was also trapped. He is being treated at a nearby hospital. Davies was one of the Worcester firefighters who responded nearly 12 years ago to the day to the massive Cold Storage Warehouse fire, in which six Worceter firefighters perished. He is the father of three sons, including one who is stationed with the U.S. military in Afghanistan. 

Even when an incident has a better outcome, the work of a firefighter can be heartbreaking. In this report from the Boston Herald, we learn of several accidents over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. Firefighers in Boston, for example, rescued two adults, two small children and an infant from a vehicle that had rolled over in a collision. Photos of Boston firefighters ed Kelly and Brian Carey show the care they exercised with the youngest of the victims, all of whom reportedly were treated at a local hospital for non-life-threatening injuries.

The next time you see your local firefighters, thank them for their service. On the best of days, they carry burdens most of us could not. On the worst of days, their brothers and sisters must carry them.