Something I really look forward to doing once every two weeks is volunteering to participate in fire practice night at the Eckville Fire Department.
Through attending the practices and taking some necessary steps, I am now a member of the department. But I don’t volunteer for bragging rights, I volunteer because every practice night I get to take part in a new adventure, which gives me the inevitable outcome of learning new skills. So far I have learned how to break a car window, how to operate the settings on the water house and how to properly secure hoses onto a fire hydrant.
I still remember my very first practice night, as by the end of the night I could feel the desire to be a firefighter rush through my veins and enter the core of my body. I even watch videos of fire fighters rescuing people from burning buildings, as I find something very mentally relaxing with dwelling on the logistics of how to save a person’s life.
I can fully admit that there may be times in the future where I may not want to attend all practices, but I also have to take into account that being committed is the key to being who you want to become. I still love being a reporter, but I see being a firefighter as more of a hobby that I take very seriously as a firefighter’s responsibility is to not only put out fires but save people’s lives.
The amount of acceptance and respect I receive from the guys in the department are two of the things that motivates me to stay committed. It’s an atmosphere of where patriarchy is non-existent; I wear the same uniform and hat the rest of the guys do and I partake in all the responsibilities the guys do. Again, it doesn’t matter than I am a girl, it matters that I show my commitment.
Practicing with the men, consistently gives me the chance of truly learning the hands on skills of how to handle the equipment, as the guys show me exactly what to do and what not to do. Sure, we are only practicing once every two weeks, but one day, it will be the real thing. This is why I am committed to doing what it takes to learn how to be prepared for handling real life situations. The skills I learn during practice are very valuable and I don’t take them for granted.
As I think into the future, I am sure I will one day be in dangerous situations which makes me ask myself ‘how am I really going to react?’ The thought of this doesn’t send shivers down my spine or make my hair stand up, it makes me take everything that much more seriously, because sooner or later I will have everything I need to be a fire fighter, just as long as I remain committed.