I joined the company at August 23, 1978 at 3pm. It was a friday I turned in my application. I was petty much a member as I had been around the firehouse since I was 5yo with my uncle the chief.

I became a firefighter 2 months later with a house fire down the street from my house. The older daughter (Sonja) was playing with matches and set the bedroom on fire. She joined the company yeasrs later was the first active female we had and to this day the best one we ever had.

Our first line piece 65 Hahn was out of service so we ran a 56 Mack. I was on the first line and fire was out the attic window. Had no clue what to do except point the wet end of the hose at the hot part of the fire. This guy (Grayson) from the nieghboring company (Millcreek) didn't take the line but helped me and explained what I should be doing. We've been friends since that day.

One funny moment is that we had another engine I believe a 52 Mack that NEVER EVER left the firehouse. The second crew responded in the van and went Van30 10-2 (on location) hydrant.

Thats the day I became a firefighter.

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I had been a member in our auxiliary for 6 years and then I joined the fire side of the department in 1991. When I became a firefight in the aspect that you are talking about was a structure fire right after I finished my Essentials class. That was about 1 month later. It was an interesting fire where the family had a farm and the house had bags of garbage every where and cloths stacked high on the steps going upstairs. It made for an interesting first fire.....
I became a FF back in '97.
I joined the F.D. in November, 1994. Got my first house fire just before I got off probation a year later! Although I did go to several smaller incidents and medical calls prior to the "big" fire.
Some people might not understand what I'm getting at. I worked with this guy who was in the National Guard. I teased him that he was a member of the armed forces but not a soldier. You have to go to battle to be a soldier. And yes I have much respect for soldiers and members of the armed forces.

So I thought you can be a member of a fire company but not a firefighter until you have actually fought a fire.
I became a firefighter on Sept. 7th, 1991 that was when I started as A POC and that was the night of my 1st fire. I then Changed to Full-time on January 2nd, 2001, when on January 3 I caught my 1st full time fire.
In my mind a firefighter is a firefighter via training and initiation. However a firefighter has not lost his cherry until he fights his first fire. I lost mine 3 years ago.
As a former soldier myself, I agree with what Craig said. You can train & train, and be an excellent soldier, but until that first bullet comes whizzing at you... Same as with firefighting, you can train and train, but until you get to that first real emergency...
Perhaps I should clarify. I respect every member of both the Fire/EMS service as well as the Armed Forces. I don't have less respect for someone who's never been to a fire or been in combat. I'm merely pointing out that going to a real fire or being in combat is rite of passage. I never meant to imply that virgin firefighters are worth less respect than veteran firefighters!
I am going to take a different tack on this one....I Joined the department too many years ago to admit to LOL.....when did I "become a Firefighter"..? Well it was about a year later ...that's when the other members actually came up to me shook my hand and told me congratulation....each and everyone of them.....received an award at the banquet and they all stood when it was announced and all shook hands....I knew right then and there that I was now "One of them". That to me is when you become a firefighter...when your Department or Company accepts you as one of them....Oh, I know...on paper you are a firefighter when you get your certification, some may say when your cherry gets busted....BUT, I feel it is when your peers accept you and trust you literally with their lives.....Well stay safe and remember to keep the faith.....Paul
January 1991. I was 14. They called us Jr. Fire Fighters. Sort of like Explorers I guess but in 1991 we could do a lot more than the Explorers of today.
I joined and became a Firefighter in 2005, So in a sense I am still a newbie, with only 3 years on.
Thae day i was a twinkel in my daddys eyes lol back in 76 i became a firefighter went from Jr.to lifer

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