Valuable Lessons Learned At A Volunteer Fire Station

Updated on September 17, 2019

Why Are You Here?

If you are a firefighter working in a volunteer station the question of why can be as important to your peers as the ability you have to contribute to the good fight. It is that question that often defines us as individuals and particularly as what type of firefighter we are or are going to be. Some may disregard such a question and others may even get defensive about it. The fire service is not about badges and pretty gizmos. It is about helping our fellow man and woman the best we can. Every day people like myself and my dad put our lives on the line to help others, and the reality is we don't do it for a pat on the back or a praise from our peers, we do it because it is in us to help people!

The trend today seems to be advancing up the fire ladder of success with as little effort as possible. Let me say that this is a trail to disaster. To often young upstarts are granted officer positions just to crack at the first sign of a problem and this leaves the whole department up for scrutiny and in some cases loss of life and property. We can not afford this type of complication!!! The key to a strong crew is a strong leader.

I see so many people who are merely on the fire department to say they are. They put fourth no real effort at anything other than telling people that they are a firefighter. It boost the ego somewhat but at what cost? What are they sacrificing for their department? That is easy to answer.

They sacrifice the departments ability to perform with the perfection that is demanded of us in everything we do. Some people simply want to amass a stockpile of achievements on paper that look good on a wall or resume but reality is paper is just that. For the record if that paper caught fire would it matter, or would it matter that someone was there to put it out.

The only bragging rights we should worry about is the ones who come from the people we serve. I know I pulled a crazy stunt when I ventured into a working fire to save a family's dog. This was slightly frowned upon but at the time I was led to believe this dog was a person. (The residents were slightly under the influence, and by slightly I mean Barney dancing on the lounge chair drunk!!!) I rescued a pug that was anything but happy to see me. The family were ecstatic that their beloved pet was alive and well.

The fire departmenton the other hand was not so thrilled at my decision to go in after this animal. The fact is the fire was contained on the C side of the home and I was in the A side area. Was my choose to go in merited? Maybe, maybe not but it was something I felt needed to be done for the family. I did not know it was a dog. Would I have gone in if I did. You are damned right I would have! There was no immediate danger.

What I am getting at is we are in this game to help people. Any time we feel that is not our priority we should stop. To many newcomers are out to get attention by wearing their gear and dress uniforms all the time and by trying to approach the service like a ladder to the top. That ladder is important but climb it with respect and dignity!

I would love to see more people in the service that are simply here to assist those in needwith no regard to pats on the back and "that will do pig" antics. Did the family thank me for saving their dog. They did indeed. To this day they see me and hug me and say "thanks so much, we would have lost our baby if you had not done what you did."

We as firefighters really need to get back to where it started. The goal is to preserve life and property, not earn scout badges. The next time you put your turn outs on and those bunker pants are around your boots ask yourself, "why am I doing this?"


A firefighter saves a child. It's what we do!!!
A firefighter saves a child. It's what we do!!!

In Closing

 I am not saying being all about the accolades makes you a bad person. It truly doesn't. It makes you a bad firefighter though, and a liability to the service. I simply ask that if you are contemplating becoming a firefighter always remember why we do what we do. So much potential is wasted on looking for easy certificates and achievements when respect is earned on the fireground and in the classroom, not on a piece of paper. Thanks for reading.

Questions & Answers

    Comments

      0 of 8192 characters used
      Post Comment
      • lorddraven2000 profile imageAUTHOR

        Sam Little 

        6 years ago from Wheelwright KY

        Thank you so much. I agree with you. That is why when I was offered a paid spot on a department in my area I turnedit down.

      • celeste inscribed profile image

        Celeste Wilson 

        6 years ago

        I would also love to see folks do good because it is the right thing to do, not because it is expected of them by corporate or so that they have something to fill their resume with. Great article thanks, voted awesome.

      • jpcmc profile image

        JP Carlos 

        7 years ago from Quezon CIty, Phlippines

        I probably would have done the same.

      • lorddraven2000 profile imageAUTHOR

        Sam Little 

        8 years ago from Wheelwright KY

        Thanks. That really means a lot to me.

      • profile image

        JJS 

        8 years ago

        Totally awesome read!! You did a good job of putting it all in perspective! The firefighter's heart should be a heart of service unto others cuz that is indeed what a firefighter's purpose is - to serve others! The uniform can be worn with pride, but never forget to wear it with a humble heart as well.

      working

      This website uses cookies

      As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, letterpile.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

      For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://letterpile.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

      Show Details
      Necessary
      HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
      LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
      Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
      AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
      Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
      CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
      Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
      Features
      Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
      Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
      Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
      Marketing
      Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
      Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
      Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
      Statistics
      Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
      ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
      ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)