This week we celebrate all the individuals that take time in their life to volunteer in their community! Giving your time to helping out is the reason events are able to happen; some organizations are able to stay open (dog shelters). Volunteering is a great way to meet new people and to attend events for free! Yes, I did say free but in return, you have to work.
When I grew up, my dad was my inspiration in life. He would always put people’s needs before his. Because of that spirit, I am forever grateful to call him dad. As the years passed by, my love to become a volunteer to become a firefighter grew bigger. I couldn’t imagine that people were putting their own life at risk to help others in need. My only goal then was this “How do I become one of them?” the answer was pretty simple: send out a registration. The part I was afraid of was, I WAS THE ONLY GIRL. How do you become part of a stereotyped world where women aren’t “strong enough”?
This month marks two years of me becoming a volunteer firefighter for my community. Wow, time sure does go by fast! I have made not only friends but also a forever growing family. Today, I will let you live in my shoes on how it feels to be a volunteer firefighter in a small community.
First off, small towns only run on volunteers and therefore this means that you are 24/7 on call in case of an emergency. Wherever you are, whatever you are doing, in the back of your mind you are always waiting for your pager to go off. You could be at your best friend’s wedding, taking a shower (let me tell you that this is not fun when you have long hair and it is -40 outside, yup my hair was in icicles when I stepped outside.) or even when you just fell asleep at 11 p.m. on a workday. But we do not complain, we get up, we get our suits on, and we go straight toward the fire/emergency.
Secondly, because we are a small community it is always important to keep an eye on our budget for the year (should we get more foam or buy a new hose?). Small departments do not necessarily get the same privilege as cities as we do not get the same number of calls.
Third, it is very important for volunteers to take part in the weekly training. We need that fresh reminder to work on our trucks and try on our LSBA as we might not have a called before two months. When you have to go on a call but it’s been a while since you’ve last practiced on your equipment, you are not only putting yourself in danger but your entire team.
I could go on for hours on how difficult but rewarding it is to be a firefighter but for today I think I talked your ear off! I enjoy every moment of being able to assist people in need and I wouldn’t trade it for the world. I only wish that I would have more time in my life to be present, as juggling a full-time work, the blog, my business and a social life can get quite hectic.