Thank you, Shannon Robert with the Saskatoon Fire Department for providing this blog.
When you close your eyes and imagine a firefighter, what do you see?
Most likely, a brawny man running into a burning building to save someone. Although not inaccurate, we are, in fact, so much more than that. Firefighters are the jack of all trades of the workforce. It is easy to picture us fighting fires, yet that is, in reality, only a very small part of what we do. We are who you call when you don’t know who to call.
We are problem solvers with a vast array of tools and equipment. Need a ladder, a saw, a hose, a fan or even a boat? We have all of those. Need a paramedic, a diver, a Hazmat tech, or a high–angle crew? We have all of those as well.
We are the safety net for the city. We show up not only to put out fires but to help those who are injured, those who are stuck, those who have fallen; all of those in need, no matter how big or how small your emergency may be.
Sometimes it’s a raging fire, and sometimes it’s as simple as giving someone a hand when they need it the most. Not one person has the ability or the knowledge to solve all these problems. There is no perfect firefighter, that is why we work in crews, and the more diverse the crew is, the better off we are.
By bringing different views and life experiences together, we will be better suited to serve our community.
There is no generic mould for the perfect firefighter; some days we need the brawn, some days we need some more specific technical knowledge and some days we just need the compassion.
When I close my eyes and think of a firefighter, I see several different faces, including myself, because even though I may not fit the standard popular image of a firefighter, I know I bring a different view, a different perspective and added value to my crew.