When I called and told my parents I had joined the local fire department, my mom said, “You WHAT?” The next question was, “WHY?” Her natural worry, of course, was for my safety. I can also understand her concerns for my younger daughter if I died in the line of duty. As one of two females on the fire department at the time, I sometimes asked myself why I joined too!
The guys have all been great. I never asked them to change their behavior or language for my benefit. I wanted to fit in with them, not change the dynamics of the station.
As you might expect, training is hard work. I really need to get in shape! (In my defense, round is a shape.) One man in particular (he knows who he is!) encouraged me when I thought about giving up. He made me climb a ladder, lock on and hang over the side. Did I mention I’m afraid of heights? This man was also the first to offer his congrats when I (barely) passed my live fire test! Thanks to all the firemen, I have learned so much. I still get the feeling that they have forgotten more than I’ll ever learn.
I look forward to fire school every year. I have been able to learn about crime scene investigation, anti-terrorism and so much more. The highlight so far was watching a good-looking SWAT team fellow blow things up! Who knows what I’ll get into this year!
Vicky Earl, thanks for helping take pictures!