It’s a tough job, but someone has got to do it. I’m talking about first responders. This includes police, firefighters, EMTs, etc. These folks are the first to show up at the scene where there involves injury or potential injury. When they arrive at the scene there is often chaos, not to mention injured and possibly dying people. Not only are they required to try to stabilize the situation, they have to manage the injured, the witnesses, possible perpetrators, and gawkers, but they are also tasked with saving lives at the same time.
Try to imagine a typical scenario – an EMT arrives at a house where a 911 call was made, saying that there was a serious injury that required immediate attention. EMT’s arrive to find people walking about the house, people yelling and crying, possibly others yelling at each other, sometimes in a different language. Where do you go from there? Is anyone of these people dangerous? Who knows what happened to the injured person? Police have arrived and are trying to keep the situation under control, so the EMT’s can attend to the injured.
The pressure to be able to provide adequate and accurate help is immense, and time is running out. There may be victims who are breathing their last, others who are in intense pain. How do you block that out? It’s not easy. It’s a touch job, but one that can be truly fulfilling. On the other hand, some first responders fall victim themselves to the pressure. Many eventually take their own life.
We want to start an awareness campaign to let communities know what it’s like to be a first responder, and how you can help your local first responders, whether volunteer firefighters, police force or EMT’s. We encourage you to organize events in your community to recognize and reward your first responders as the heroes they are. You can raise money for gifts to your local professional sports team, or for your women first responders, gift certificates to a local spa. The possibilities are endless. Just be sure to thank those who put it all on the line to save others. At the very least, when you meet one, simple show him/her your gratitude and thankfulness for what they do. It’s an important job, and someone has to do it. They do it for you!
Firefighters undergo all kinds of training. Most fire departments require at least a high school diploma, but beyond that we must learn about a vast variety of topics, from how to wield an axe effectively, to fire prevention, to controlling hazardous materials, and much more. A firefighter must absorb much information that’s new and unfamiliar. These topics are about techniques, physical skills, and book knowledge. But a good firefighter must know much more than just these things.
What some call Soft Skills are a huge part of being a firefighter. It is the acquisition of these soft skills and the usage of them that make a firefighter an exceptional employee at an organization outside of the fire department. We learn tools that easily cross over to the professional business workplace – for example, supervisory skills, team building, communication skills, just to name a few. Likewise, if you are a worker in a business workplace, and you have these skills, then you may have the tools needed by your local VFD.
A very basic and necessary skill for firefighters is team building. Much of our time at the firehouse is spent in activities that are conducive to team-bulding. A requirement for a team to attack a fire is to be able to work together. If each firefighter was doing his own thing while trying to put a fire out, it would be disastrous for the firefighter and the building on fire. But put that group of firefighters in a team working together, and you’ve got a great chance of successfully achieving your goal. Team building transcends occupation, and is important to any organization. Our team often trains with others in the business world. One resource we’ve used is SeminarsForManagers.com, which provides us with information on a variety of soft skill class including team-building, managerial skills and more.
If you have aspirations of helping your local VFD, keep that in mind when you are attending a soft skills class. You’ll be boosting your chances of qualifying for a position as firefighter as you learn!
Welcome to my blog. I’m Travis, a volunteer firefighter. With my blog I hope to illuminate the pros and cons of being a volunteer firefighter, entertain and instruct – all at the same time.
One thing you should know about us – we are the salt of the earth type of folks. I’ve visited many VFD’s around the US and Canada and I always come away with the same feeling – “what a great group of guys and gals”. I encourage anyone to go visit your local VFD and get to know the volunteers there. I can almost guarantee you that the folks you meet there will be the kindest, most understanding humans you’ll ever find. I think it’s the mindset of a volunteer firefighter – that they are willing to put their own life in danger in order to save another’s.
There’s something else you should know about us. We are confident and courageous to a fault. Maybe it’s the training we receive, or maybe it’s that higher calling that we answer to, but whatever the reason, you’ll find a firefighter doesn’t back down from anything or anyone.
If you have a servant’s heart, and a compassion for mankind, then maybe you could become a volunteer firefighter. Think it over. If you have a spouse, you MUST take their opinion very seriously. It takes a special person to be a firefighter, but it also take a very special person to be firefighter’s significant other.
If you are interested in becoming a volunteer firefighter, you should start at the National Volunteer Fire Council. Many of the questions you might have about this calling will be answered here. If you have questions for me, fire away (pardon the pun), and I’ll do my best to give you an appropriate answer.
I hope you find something of value in my blog.