Regardless of whether you are choosing to get into a career as a firefighter or joining the ranks of the 800,000 American volunteer firefighters, the fire service is an incredible community. Many people just see firefighting from the aspect of responding to fires on big, shiny fire engines, rescuing people from burning buildings. The truth is that while those things happen occasionally, the job for both career and volunteer personnel is more about the preparation for those events than the responding to them.
Firefighters have a responsibility to not just fight fires, but to take care of the tools, equipment, apparatus, and the stations. Whether the funding comes from the municipality or strictly by donation, we are stewards of those things the community has entrusted us with to do our job. We have a responsibility to take care of them like they were our own, or as I like to say, better than our own.
In volunteer departments, often there will be in addition to the duty days, assigned training sessions, apparatus and station sessions, and even fund raising. Between all these moments there is also a lot of bonding with the team, because since our lives are literally in our teammates’ hands, theirs are likewise in ours, and there must be a certain amount of trust developed, in that you know what you are doing and that you have each others’ backs.
If you like channeling your inner “MacGuyver,” the fire service is an ideal place to do so. We not only run to fires, but to any other type of emergency that the public needs to be taken care of. When people run out of options, they call the fire department.
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