Well for me I have loved this "business" since i was a youngster. I live a block away from the station so I can rember when the siren went off i'd rush over to the window and watch all the men rush over to the station jump on the trucks and head out!
I was always captivated how when the siren goes off people come from where ever and drop everything to help in most cases people we dont even know!
I have always had this saying "that the you don't pick the job the job picks you!" We are a different breed of people we care when others could careless! It's not always easy but that's why I love it.
I really don't have a answere to this one it's a whole lot of things the reasons you all have listed and more when someone you've never met before you crawled in thier car to hold c-spine and the medics take them to the hospital then a year later they walk up to you in a bar hand you a beer and say "you probally don't remember me but ----- and I never had the chance to say thanks for helping me" this has happened to me twice and it makes all the training,time away from family and friends worth every minute thats why I do this
Well my first experience was at the tender age of four when I was made the Honorary Fire Marshal of a volunteer fire department and that was a very long time ago. Then there was the second grade field trip to the local fire house in Pittsburgh, Station #6 (the old station on Penn Avenue where the hospital is now.) I finally joined a volunteer fire company at the ripe old age of 28 and haven't looked back then. To me it is a vocation for either paid, career or volunteer. Now at the age of fourty something things are changing and I think I will be moving on to another station in the near future.
Because of the Big Red Trucks....ok, just kidding. The reason that first caused me to join our local volunteer service was to be more involved in the community and it quickly got into my blood. It was such a rush during the first training fire to have smoke and flames blowing overhead and working as a team to get the fire out. I came to love the comraderie and teamwork involved and now can't think of not being involved on the fire dept and EMS. Plus, you get the satisfaction of helping your neighbor on their worst day as someone else touched on. Everyone in the fire service and EMS is in a big family and we all have the same goals and similar experiences where ever we serve. So its a very unifying and fullfilling field of work and I am looking forward to one day being a full timer and getting to do the job I love for a living!
I agree with everything all of have stated so far, helping my community, the rush of taking on "the beast", the lights and the sirens, the pure adreniline rush and the kids. We are one of the few hero figures left in kids lives. Every October, kids minds are nothin but firefighters and fire department due to the nationwide fire prevention week. Also, I do this for you, my fellow brothers and sisters in arms. We are a seperate breed driving by whatever force seems to drive us onward, but we do it. My hat is off to each and everyone of you as we go forth and do what our hearts call us out to do. I have been in the service since I was 19 and now im 43, and im not ready to hang up my hat yet. Im on disabilty now, but still have plenty I can do in a support and administrative way. God bless all of you, and the fire service.
OUTSTANDING reply.I'd like to add abit.It is a passion/obsession if you will,we don't do it for the money(its a plus)we do it for eachother and or fellow man.We are a breed apart from the rest,what we do comes from your very soul not just your heart.We are brothers/sisters of a very elite and close knit family.We dont pass away we revolve and evolve.For each Firefighter that gives his life another is born from fire to carry-on and improve our PROUD TRADITION.
I talked about joining for about 10 years but never got off my lazy ass to do it. I moved to this small country town (Wickham where I am now) six years ago and joined the vollies within my first year here (best thing I have ever done).
I agree with everyone that its a love, its a passion and obsession and that money is not the be all and end all of why we do this job wether as a career firefighter or as a volunteer. The chance to help someone who is in desperate need of help is the greatest feeling on earth.
My children (aged 11, 8 and 6) are always asking me about incidents that we go to, of course the casualty situations of the vehicle accidents I keep to myself, but I do advise them in regards to incidents when seat belts have not been worn or alcohol has been the cause etc, etc.
My 11 year old is about to join the vollies as a junior so I am very excited and a very proud dad........
I think Robert Owens summed it up completely in his earlier post when he stated " its what this website represents". We who have joined so far and those who will join in the future are exactly what firefighters and firefighting are all about COMERADERIE and COMPANIONSHIP and looking after each other
well for me it is a famly thing, but the big thing for me is, back in 1980 I was hit by a car and it was the town's volunnter fd that came to save my life. My hero that day was my father he was the first to respond.
when I was in the Hosp it was my grandfthers Fd that would come and see me and helped with gass money and thing's like that for mom and dad.
I still see many of the fire fighter's that not only came to the call but also the ones that came to the Hosp. It may sound corny but these are My heros and that is why I do what I do now.