I grew up in a first responders’ household, I spent a lot of my childhood in a firehouse. My dad has been a firefighter for my entire life and my mom has volunteered in different community roles that have aided first responders. My Grandpa and Uncle both served in the Canadian Military. I have a cousin who is a full-time firefighter as well as other uncles and cousins that volunteer as firefighters in their rural communities. I, personally, have worked as a Wildland Firefighter in Alberta, Canada and I have been a volunteer firefighter for the county that I lived in at that same time. I always thought my life was normal…
You never know when an emergency is going to happen, and you have to be able to respond at the drop of a hat. My first three calls were all late at night: one major highway incident (13+ cars) and two different house fires. My fourth call was on Christmas eve, which was actually a pretty normal occurrence for my family growing up (my dad almost always got called out on Christmas eve or Christmas day). This lifestyle, however, put a lot of stress on my relationships and work at the time but I knew that I loved serving my community and so I stuck with it until I had to move away for school.
The life of a first responder is not an easy one, but it is a fulfilling one. If you want to pursue being a first responder, you have to realize that you are not going to have a “normal” life and you have to accept that fact before you jump into it. You are going to give up personal time, family time, you are going to have to work weekends and holidays, you are going to be awake while everyone else is sleeping, and you are going to have to deal with things that most people will never understand. You will have to train constantly and differently in order to be prepared for the demands of your work, but it will all be worth it if this is what you want.
Not everyone is going to understand but as long as you are doing right by yourself, it doesn’t matter.
“You have to be odd to be number one” - Dr. Seuss
Tyler Tait, MSc., NSCA-CSCS.
Heroic Athletics Coach
Email: [email protected]
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