When your country is facing the greatest ecological crisis in its history and people volunteer to help, wouldn't you roll out a heroes' welcome? The people of Australia have sure done just that for American firefighters who came to help in their time of need.
American's Join The Fight
At the Sydney International Airport, dozens of American firefighters in civilian clothing came off the plane. At first, all seemed normal enough. Word quickly spread from one passerby to another that they were volunteer firefighters and murmurs grew into an uproar. It was only a matter of moments for one person clapping to explode into applause from the entire crowd.
Severe Bushfires Seen From Space
Conversations sparked up here and there, with many members of the crowd eager to thank them for coming to help fight the bushfires. One American firefighter attempted to make light of it all with a pop culture reference, saying that "I came here to chew gum and fight bushfires, and I'm all outta gum." The airport radio briefly played the hit song "Burnin' For You" from the 1981 Blue Oyster Cult album "Fire of Unknown Origin" before someone realized that it was quite ill-fitting and switched to a different channel.
I Came Here To Chew Gum And Fight Bushfires
Every part of the experience came as a surprise to the American firefighters, however. When you see these brave men and women departing the plane and being greeted like heroes, there's no bluster or swagger to them. Instead, they're just looking wide-eyed at the crowd that's gathered to greet them and thank them for coming to help fight the bushfires.
Australian Wildlife In Need Of Rescue
The firefighters have been quite humble about it all. To the local Australians, they're certainly a group of heroes. To hear the firefighters tell it, their job is helping people and they came to Australia to do their job.