Bertrand Windows and Doors

Bertrand's People - Real heroes don't wear capes

Real heroes don't wear capes. Although this is quite a cliché, it is so true in this case. Know the Lord Franciszka Miotk, our aluminum hall employee, who has been a passionate firefighter for over forty years.

Forty years is, you admit, a long time. He's older than the author of this text, and he has four wheels in front. But the choice of Mr. Franciszek, even if he is not a professional firefighter and works in the Volunteer Fire Department, was absolutely not accidental.

My dad was a man of principles. Characterful and brave. He was a firefighter and that's how it all started. I remember that when he was leaving for an action somewhere nearby, I immediately got on my bike and pedaled behind the fire truck. After everything was over, my dad always came up, took my hands and said with a smile: What are you doing here again?! And I was curious – says Mr. Franciszek.

He remembers perfectly the moment he realized that he wanted to be like his father. Help people. – We had neighbors who had children similar in age to mine. I was a boy then, nine years old. And the neighbors had a cat. And once there was an accident. This cat, quite unexpectedly, bit one of the children on the throat. We heard screams and calls for help, and I, guessing that something bad had happened, immediately got on my bike and ran to the house of a local medic. That's what we called the doctor. He listened to me, then got into his Lada and immediately drove to that house – says our hero.

It turned out that the boy was choking. – I remember that blood was flowing out of my neck, forming bubbles. He was choking. Felczer took such a pipe and stuck it into the hole. He saved his life – recalls Mr. Franciszek, who keeps this image in his mind all the time. When we suggest that He also saved that kid, he smiles slightly embarrassed.

Well, that's how it started. It was then that I knew I wanted to help people.

Ultimately, he did not become a professional firefighter, but it was a conscious choice. – I had a learned profession in my hands, thanks to which I was earning money. And working in the Volunteer Fire Department was my mission – says a man who has devoted over forty years to service. He worked in the Volunteer Fire Department in Łebno, Osiek and Lini, but also in Germany, where he went to work.

It was in Hassenbach. There, I worked in a foundation that organized various camps and trips for children, of course related to firefighting or first aid training. Fun times. We organized various initiatives, field games, and there I received a decoration from the German commandant – smiles our interlocutor, who will visit Germany or Austria again in less than two months, taking part in foreign firefighting initiatives.

Over the years of service, Mr. Franciszek, who held various functions in the Volunteer Fire Department, even being the unit's President for many years, received many medals and distinctions. This is a great source of pride for him and a form of fulfillment. Although, as he points out, he doesn't do it all for the glory.

I just like to help. Although you have to be very mentally resilient. I have dealt with death many times. Not everyone can stand it – he says, recalling various actions that leave a lasting impression on the psyche.

When there was a fire in one of the villages, I entered the house without a second thought. There's smoke inside, you can't see anything. I knew there was a little baby there, so as soon as I saw the cradle, I immediately moved towards it. Inside… – he pauses his voice for a moment. – There was a baby inside. But it's already charred. Without a second thought, I took them in my arms, even though I knew it would be of no use. And I carried it away. Later, I had to go to the police station in Wejherowo several times to explain this. But instinct kicked in.

A fireman must not hesitate. Or to be afraid. And this is what Mr. Franciszek is like. And death? – And death is part of the firefighter's profession, even if you work in the Volunteer Fire Department. You have to become immune, but the trace remains. That child was sick for two weeks. Sometimes, when I encounter death again, a week is enough for me. And sometimes not – he thinks and looks at the window for a moment.

Does anyone in your family continue family traditions? – we ask. – Yes. Sons. One is at the Fire Department in Rumia, the other at the Main Headquarters in Gdańsk. They are coming true. I am very proud of them and I support them very much. Although they are still a bit short of my experience – Mr. Franciszek smiles. When we finally ask if his father supported him in his passion, he answers without hesitation. – He never pressured me into anything, but he was happy. He was very proud of me. Just like now I have sons.

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