Feb. 2, 2012 – It’s no secret that anyone involved in emergency services
has to be the type of person who likes to help others. It’s what drives
us to do things that normal people wouldn’t necessarily do.
Like, for instance, jumping out of bed and running out the door in the
middle of the night, or heading out in a blinding snow storm when news
reports tell you to stay home, or going into a burning building, or
(especially at this time of the year) going out on the weather-weakened
ice, where no one should have gone to begin with. All of this because a
certain set of tones went off, followed by several beeps. Ahh, the life
of a volunteer firefighter.
However, I was reminded this week that there’s more to it than that.
I happened to be in the fire hall a couple of days this week giving someone (not mentioning any names . . . Chief!) a hand with a PowerPoint presentation that he was preparing for an upcoming seminar.
While I was upstairs in the training room at the hall, working away on
my laptop and brainstorming with you-know-who on the presentation, there
were three other firefighters working downstairs in the hall, building
what will soon be an office and storage area. At one point they came
upstairs to grab a coffee and update the chief on their progress,
letting him know what materials they needed. (They also joked that they
were there to give us a chance to try out the presentation . . . )
It was then that it struck me that being a volunteer firefighter goes far beyond being a volunteer firefighter.
I was at the hall that day because I was asked if I could help on a
project, and I didn’t think twice about it. The other three firefighters
were there to work on a different project, but for the same reason:
because something needed to be done and they were happy to help.
Being a member of a volunteer fire department is like having an extended
family. When someone needs help with something, you can bet that
someone from the hall is always willing to lend a hand. It’s also a safe
bet that there’s always someone who has a background in whatever it is
that you need help with. Personally, I’ve had fellow firefighters help
in the past with renovating a cottage, building a porch, dry-walling a
house, moving, painting, and even helping with a wedding (but that was
in a past life . . . )
It stands to reason that you develop ties to the other members in your
hall due to the nature of the calls you respond to; it’s an experience
that bonds you. But sometimes you don’t realize just how much you’ve
bonded with these people until you have the opportunity to see things
from another perspective.
Whether it’s in the hall or outside of the hall, you know that there will always be someone around to help.
I’m once again reminded of why I love the fire department so much.