One local fire department is attracting viral attention for the charitable gesture of a few firefighters.
A firetruck from Riverside Fire Department was driving back from a training on Jan. 14 and spotted a homeless man limping barefoot down the freeway. Firefighters David Gilstrap and Capt. Rob Gabler pulled over their firetruck and retrieved a pair of sneakers from the back of the truck.
They proceeded to walk towards the homeless man and offered him the pair of sneakers for his feet. They even helped him put the sneakers on and offered him water. Since the pictures have gone viral, this group of firefighters have been praised for the incredible kindness they showed one man in need and for their act of compassion.
We live in a world where unfortunately extreme poverty and homelessness exist. Many homeless people have no shelter from the cold, inadequate clothing to protect themselves from the weather and severe shortages of food. Even sadder there are so many of them that many times we just walk past them, unable to stop and try to help each person in need that we encounter.
When we think of firefighters we think of brave heroes saving people from fires and burning buildings. We remember 9/11 and their bravery and courage. Here is a story of a different kind of heroism, a quieter more small scale type of heroism yet just as important as saving lives. They save the fleeting notion of faith in mankind, a kindness not too often seen but desperately needed in hard times for those who are suffering and lacking in primal resources.