Wow, I can't believe how many people ask me this. In fact, now the teachers are even asking. Some look at me like I am insane, or just plain stupid. I smile and say, "Why do you teach? It was a calling". And it really was.

I live on a pretty busy road. There have been numerous accidents, and me being me, I would always watch the firefighters work on scene. When I was younger, I would climb up a tree and watch them work. I always felt so helpless. A year or two ago, someone died in front of my house in a car accident. I came home from school and found the left over pieces of car on the side of the road. I ran to my computer and found the accident on the news page.
      But of course, that wasn't the last accident to happen on my road. The next accident wasn't a MVA, it was someone on the mountain who flipped their ATV and injured their foot. I watched them come down the mountain, and be air-lifted to a hospital. I immediately ran to my computer and checked my computer about the age when I could join the fire department. I was a bit hesitant, because I wasn't sure what it be like. I saw I could be a Junior! I asked my parents, who agreed.
    Best thing I have ever chosen to do. Now I know what I want to do when I get out of college.

I live pretty far from my station, so I don't make many calls. But I am fine with that. I get training, and that's what matters most. For now, I am limited to what I can do.

For you guys, was it a calling, family, or something different? I know this is what I want to do with my life.

Also, any tips on how to pursue a career as a Firefighter? Like classes, tips and ideas?

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Comment by Frank A Thallas Jr on January 22, 2011 at 7:30pm

Frist I want to say kudos for reaching out to your dream, taking the first step is always the hardest but the rest of them will be easier. You are well searved to get as much training as you can, It will searve you best when the time comes.

In answer to your question, for me I am not sure if it was a calling or what but I became a volunteer because: I was driving home from wrk and I saw a large column of dark black smoke rising from my neighborhood, I had that sick heavy feeling in my gut as I was sure that it was my house. As I got closer I was able to see it was not but I will never forget that feeling I had. Note we have a very big county here about 5000 sq miles and I live about 15 miles from the main fire house in town. Any how as I arrived on scene I found one man trying to pull things like cars, four wheelers bbq units ect... away from the structure. I called 911 to report the fire as there were no fire units on scene at this time. I then began to assist the neibor move things away from the house, After about 10 minutes the first Eng arrived with one man aboard and a few minutes later a tanker arrived with only it.s driver onboard and shortly 3-5 minutes another Eng arrived with a full crew and water began to flow. I was livid as I knew it was a good twenty minutes after I had reported the fire that water was put to it. Now I also knew that we had a combo fire dept, with full timers and vollies, it was the vollies who arrived first by the way. Well I stewed about this event the entire weekend and by Monday I had made up my mind to write letters to the paper to find out why it took so long for the response to happen. Once I got home my wife asked if I had done anything yet and I told her no, so she told me to check out the paper, which I did and inside I found a two page spread from the fire dept basically begging from volunteers to bolster their ranks. So in short I knew at that moment it was time for me to "put up or shut up" and I joined as a volunteer two days later. I was 46 years old then and I have not regretted it yet. Best of luck to you and stay safe.

F1305 Lt. CCFD aka Frank
Comment by Sarah on January 22, 2011 at 6:42pm
Thank you Ed!

I am not afraid to ask questions!
Comment by ED Squires on January 22, 2011 at 3:56pm
Sarah, first don't let anyone or anything stop you from living your dream. I'm 43yrs old and just passed my fire1 class. 25yrs ago when I got out of high school I chickened out and have regreted it ever seince. For some reason unknown to me things have fallen into place for me to become a firefighter. I was very unsure about my abilitys at my age, but my Chief and family all told me that If I really want it I can do it. They where right. It was one of the hardest things I've ever done, but it was one of the greatest feelings I ever had when I passed the class. Do what ever you can at your Dept. to help them and educate your self. I strongly beleave in jr./explorer programs. They can give you a huge advantage when your in a fire 1 class. You can learn a lot from watching and asking questions. Don't be afraid to ask any question. You have a great opportunity to learn and be an asset to your Dept. When I was in high school I wanted to start a explorer prongram at the dept. my uncle was a Captain on, but no one wanted to do it. As far as classes you can take, check with you local tech school about there fire service classes. Your Chief should should be able to point you in the right direction. Good luck, and stay safe. Ed
Comment by Sarah on January 22, 2011 at 11:48am
Thanks Tom!

I am almost positive this is a career I want to pursue.
Comment by Tom Williams on January 22, 2011 at 11:41am
Well written & proud of ya Sarah! We have a junior firefighters program here at our department and do have a good group of members. It does seem strange to people that you would want to run into a burning house or show up at a fatal accident scene. However, you hit nail on the head when you said "it's a calling". It takes someone very special to do what we do, no doubt about it.

I've been in the fire service for 20 years now and have loved almost every moment of it. There've been a few hard times but overall I am so happy to be a part of the brotherhood/sisterhood that the fire/ems/law enforcement provides.

I hope you continue to find good times and joy in your quest to become a firefighter. Hang in there and don't let anyone tell ya different. What you're doing is very honorable and you need to be proud of it. Don't be afraid to ask questions on here. You and all of us have access to one of the greatest tools around....each other, so don't be afraid to use it.

Stay safe & Enjoy!

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