Guest MINDSETTER™ Tom Kenney: The Worcester Six

Thursday, December 03, 2015


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We came to be known

as the Worcester Six

but we were just firemen

the ones God had picked


We were called to respond

to a fire one night

when we arrived on the scene

there was no one in sight

A fire in a warehouse

the dispatcher said

we were told it was empty

we thought, victims, instead


A faint wisp of smoke

hung in the air

the fire lay waiting

deep inside, somewhere


A cold winter’s wind

cut through the cold

we assume someone’s inside

no matter what we’re told


Engine-men were stretching

their hose up the stairs

as Ladder-men gathered tools

getting prepared…


…for the task lying before us

to search and to vent

this is our responsibility

it’s why we’re sent


As we entered the building

looking up toward the sky

no windows were visible

we’d have to vent high


So we climbed up six flights

to access the roof

light smoke in the stairway

serving as proof


That a fire was present

not yet too intense

these measures we employ

are the proper defense


They allow us more time

for search and for rescue

before the fire gets rolling

cutting off our escape route


After we vented the roof

we descended one floor

to begin searching for victims

entering through a door


We’re in a windowless room

our lights cut through the haze

from one room to another

soon we’re lost in a maze


As we’re searching for victims

and for the exit

the fire suddenly intensifies

as oxygen reaches it


In what seems a blink of an eye

the smoke’s black and thick

we don our masks with urgency

we need to get out quick


Desperately look for the stairs

can’t find our way out

fumble for our radios

“Mayday, Mayday” we shout


Crawling through this labyrinth

from room to room

only twelve minutes of air

between us and our doom


We try to relay our location

to our brothers outside

in hopes that they’ll find us

before we have died


Enveloped in the darkness

time seemed to be frozen

suddenly aware of the risks

of this profession we’d chosen


It takes but a moment to realize

we may not survive

we’re now sharing our air

trying to stay alive


Meanwhile, desperation outside

as we lay dying

a rescue plan put together

two brothers are trying


Trying to reach us in time

and pull us to safety

but their effort’s in vain

it just wasn’t to be


They crawl through the darkness

and become lost too

now the rescuers are victims

so they start another crew


No shortage of volunteers

outside the building

to risk his life for his brothers

every man is willing


The only thing that mattered now

was finding their brothers

for it’s their unwritten code

to depend on each other


As the third crew fell victim

to this hellish structure

whether more crews be sent in

was up for conjecture


It was then that the Chief did

what had to be done

he pulled everyone out of there

the building had won


It had swallowed our bravest

and was not giving them up

in a last act of bravery that night

the Chief said, “Enough!”


For more than two weeks following

as the world looked on

the city of Worcester, Massachusetts

recovered their brave sons


There were funerals and memorials

and a Presidential proclamation

the bravery and valor of these men

was beyond imagination


God keep you Paul, Tim, Tom, Jeremiah, Joe, & Jay


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