Alvin William Linn earned the name “Smokey” when he was 15 by running into his grandfather’s burning barn and driving out his Model T truck. He and the truck made it out in one piece, but the seat of his pants were smoking. This must have been a sign of things to come, because it wasn’t the last time he would charge into a burning building.
"Smokey" became one of the first Red Cross instructors in Wichita KS to teach and certify people for C.P.R. and first aid. During his time in the Coast Guard during WW II in the North Atlantic his ship was hit by a torpedo from a Japanese submarine. He was one of the few survivors.
After each shift, he would come home and tell his family about the runs he’d been on. Some were more difficult than others. A.W. “Smokey” Linn wrote “A Fireman’s Prayer” after he’d been at a call involving children trapped in a burning apartment building. The firefighters could see the children in the windows but could not rescue them due to the iron bars that the apartment owner had installed. All they could do was try to contain the fire.
About one in the morning, Smokey found himself sitting at the station’s kitchen table putting into words the emotions inside of him from that evening.The following words are one man’s prayer (a man who was more than a fireman) to his Lord and Savior. He was a husband, father, grandfather, and a son who knew how precious and short life can be.