Neither are police, EMT people or Municipal workers. Everyone works for themselves. Firefighters rush towards danger secure in the knowledge their training and skills will keep them out of danger. They desire to prove they are achievers. They want to be paid for their skills and their work. Perhaps they seek recognition but they do not work for a higher purpose. Nor are they community servants and it’s demeaning to them and the communities who hire them to think firefighters must risk their lives. No firefighter want’s to die. Firefighting is a great way to prove a person is not just competent but to prove their self-worth. Some people call that being selfish. People like that are probably cowards who think firefighters should die if it saves a building but that’s nonsense. Firefighters, like police and EMT people do not live to serve. Serving is for servants of people who are worth more than the servants they hire and for those who accept the distinctions between the rich, competent people and the poor ninkompoops who serve them.
But most people appreciate firefighters and have loads of respect for people who can run towards danger because of their skills and training. In a free culture the latter want to pay the former for helping protect them. How different is that from demanding firefighters risk their lives because the community is a higher value than the individual? It’s worse than the opposite because it demands firefighters risk their lives for the collective. It wrongly connects the work of firefighters to the collective and thereby disconnects the lives of the firefighters from themselves.