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"The Nature of the Business"

A Picture of What It's Like to Volunteer in the Fire Service

     The fire and rescue service is one of the most diverse and challenging professions today. It is the diversity that inspires most men and women to enter the service – both as volunteers and career employees. Imagine having to train to prepare yourself to cope with situations which range from building fires to childbirth to hazardous chemical spills to heart attacks, and almost any imaginable emergency situation in between. This diversity is coupled with the fact that these skills may be needed at any time of the day, seven days a week, in any kind of weather, and very often under very stressful and emotional circumstances. These challenges contribute to our profession being personally rewarding.

     As volunteers, we are here for two basic purposes. The first is to prevent fires and medical emergencies from occurring. This is achieved through fire prevention, health maintenance education, inspections, fire safety education, and code enforcement programs. Secondly, we are here to prepare ourselves to control fire or medical emergencies, should prevention fail. This is done through education, training, pre-incident planning, more training, state-of-the-art-equipment, and more training. We are a paramilitary profession working in a "hurry up and wait" environment.

     This business is not for everyone. You need more than just desire to help people. You need courage and dedication, assertiveness, and a willingness to learn new skills and face new challenges. And you need to have the time, for training sessions, meetings, emergency calls, maintenance of equipment, and other duties. The fire and rescue service is not for the meek or timid or those who lose control at times of crises. Our service is one which calls upon its members to perform hot, sweaty, dirty, and strenuous work, often in uncertain and hazardous environments.

     The personal rewards and satisfaction received from the fire and rescue service are often beyond description. There is a sense of accomplishment after controlling a building fire, joy and elation when a child is born, compassion for accident victims, and a fulfillment in teaching fire safety. This list goes on and on.

     The bottom line of are business is measured in loss of life, pain and suffering, and property damage we have prevented or reduced. We are here to prepare for one reason, and that is to provide service to the people.

     If you feel you have what it takes to meet the challenges of our business, we welcome you to join us.


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