Kristy and Andy Stathopoulos

Life As A Volunteer Firefighter


Take a look and add your personal thoughts in the responses

A concern posted recently on Quora asked, “just what should I find out about becoming a volunteer firefighter?” Mick Mayers, a chief fire officer and instructor-trainer, gave his opinion on the topic below. Check it out and add your own personal ideas within the comments.

Whether or not you're choosing to get into a profession as a firefighter or joining the ranks associated with the 800, 000 US volunteer firefighters, the fire service is an amazing community. Many individuals only see firefighting from element of giving an answer to fires on huge, shiny fire engines, rescuing individuals from burning buildings. The fact is that while those things take place sporadically, the work both for career and volunteer employees is much more in regards to the planning for all occasions 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, frequently you will see as well as the responsibility times, assigned services, apparatus and place sessions, plus fund raising. Between every one of these moments there is many bonding aided by the staff, because since our life tend to be virtually within teammates' fingers, theirs are likewise in ours, and there needs to be a certain amount of trust created, in that you-know-what you do and that you have each other individuals' backs.

If you prefer channeling your internal "MacGuyver, " the fire service is a perfect spot to achieve this. We not merely cost fires, but to virtually any various other form of emergency the general public has to be looked after. When people run-out of choices, they call the fire division. In 30-plus many years i've been carrying this out, I have wrangled unmanageable machines, fixed pipelines, searched for a dolphin in a storm sewer (peope don't believe us once we said the sound originating from down there couldn't be a dolphin also it wasn't; it was a frog). My staff features extricated a-sea turtle from a pool and rescued a goat that hopped off the side of a bridge. When there is a problem and no body can rather determine what to accomplish, people just call the fire department.

The flip side is you invest holidays and weekends from your family members, of course you've been up operating calls all-night, next morning actually almost anything to commemorate. I have seen horrible, awful things ranging from our response to Hurricane Katrina, to abused children and the senior, to pillars associated with community reduced to rips across lack of their home from fire. I have already been actually assaulted, and simply yesterday even, verbally assaulted. You need to maintain the "neutral working face, " maybe not go on it individually, and perform the job.

I started my job as a volunteer in 1980 and stayed a volunteer firefighter until 1993, whilst being a career firefighter from 1982 until today. I can't imagine doing other things. However it isn't for everybody; you must put the staff before yourself. Someone who is in it for "bells and smells" won't fit in really with a group that's built on "all for starters and one for several." But regardless of your decision, I wish you all the best.

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