I do not like fire. I enjoy lighting candles in my home and sitting around a campfire. But as a whole, fire is not for me. I’ve always been amazed by firefighters, people who would willingly run into a burning building, most times for people they’ve never even met.
I read Michael Schneider’s op-ed on the devastating fire that displaced a family last week, and could not be more grateful for the men and women who braved those temperatures to help their neighbor. I’ve covered installation dinners for the local fire companies, I’ve been Christmas caroling with the Springville company and bought chicken barbeques. Each time I think about how awesome a group of people make up those companies. They have inside jokes and nicknames for each other, they’ve attended one another’s wedding and welcomed new additions to their fellow firefighter’s family. It’s always struck me as a good thing.
But reading that story on these men and women – who volunteer their time – waking up in the middle of the night, when it’s below freezing outside, really puts it into perspective.
It’s not uncommon to be scrolling through Facebook and see a post asking about the sirens someone just heard. What are they for? What happened? Does anyone have any information? Every so often someone from one of the fire departments will comment with the time and location of their next meeting, encouraging the inquiring minds to join the department. It always makes me laugh. Honestly, what better way to know what’s happening than to become a first responder?
I am the last person who should tell people to volunteer, especially for something as intense as becoming an emergency personnel. But I do know most companies are always looking for new blood, people to come in and join their family and help families during their worst times. If you really do want to know what’s going on when you hear sirens, get involved. Call your local volunteer fire company and ask about joining. Find out what it entails, if you have what it takes. Don’t wait for their annual recruitment event – which is April 28-29 this year – call them now and see how you can get involved.
Springville Volunteer Fire Company: 592-2825
East Concord Volunteer Fire Company: 592-4567
Mortons Corners Volunteer Fire Company: 592-4665
Collins Volunteer Fire Company: 532-3918
West Valley Fire Hose Company: 942-3942
Boston Volunteer Fire Company: 941-6200
Visit RecruitNY.org for more information.