I serve the community as a volunteer firefighter. It was never a dream of mine to become a firefighter like many other children growing up. The reason that I became a firefighter was the fact that some of my friends were firefighters and they convinced me to become one. They told me that it is a very intense rush responding to a call with your blue light blaring, and rushing to the scene of the call with lights and sirens running. They also said that they liked the fact that they were the ones people looked to for help when something such as a fir a or a bad car accident has occurred.
I joined the Menands Fire Department in September of 2006. I was disappointed at first because I didnt realize that I would be called probie and have to do a lot of work that I didnt want to do. Once I was off my probationary period, I started to like it a lot more. I was told that I had to take a class called Fire Fighter One to be qualified and certified to actually do some of the actual firematic activities that I was looking so forward to. I was told when I joined that firefighters have to be brave, willing to learn, smart, in good physical condition and able to have some fun.
I could still recall clearly the first call that took place in my firefighting career, inOctober. I remember my pager going off as if it were on fire. I remember running to my truck, flipping on my light and speeding down to the firehouse hoping that I would make the truck. I got there in the knick of time, grabbed my gear and ran to the truck. As we pulled out onto the apron, I heard the officer saying Menands command to dispatch.show Truck-6 in route with 3. I loved it when we pulled out priority one with lights and sirens. We rushed to this car accident that was only about a mile down the road. We arrived on the scene and we jumped off the truck. I was yelled at for getting off the truck before the officer told me to get out. He told me to go get the cribbing and the airbags and a ton of other firefighting tools that I had no clue what they were. I asked everybody around me what was what. I struggled with it, but at the same time absolutely loved what was taking place.
As firefighters, we are equipped with a helmet, fire-proof gloves, a nomax hood, a mask, bunker pants and a bunker coat, boots, a S.C.B.A. and the knowledge to do what we do best. In my Fire Fighter One class, we were informed about a certain time limit set for putting on all of our P.P.E. or Personal Protective Equipment. The time limit set was one minute, thirty seconds. I thought that I would not be able to do it, but with repetition, it becomes easier. Besides the classroom work, everything else that we had to do involved us wearing our gear. Towards the end of the class, we have a drill called a live burn. They bring our class to the...