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franklin county times

Waiting on call not a bad thing

By Staff
Melissa Cason
A few weeks ago I was given an opportunity to spend time with Russellville firefighters.
Since I love learning about different things, which is one of my favorite parts of my job, I took the fire chief up on his invitation and spent several hours with them on a typical work day.
It wasn't long before I figured out that being a full-time firefighter was 99 percent of nothing waiting on the one percent that could mean everything.
I can't really say that I was bored, but I was a little disappointed when they did not get a single fire or medical call while I was with them.
In the early part of the day, the firefighters did odd jobs to stay busy.
One firefighter spent the majority of the day fixing the air compressor on the fire engine. He told me they all piddle to keep busy, but there is a purpose to their laid back attitude while at the firehouse.
I learned they take it easy so that they will be ready should they be called out to a fire. According to the firemen, the first 30 minutes on a fire call is equalivent to 10 hours of hard work. They said the adrenaline, and uncertainty, put a strain on the body.
This is the reason the fire department applied for and received the grant for the physical fitness training room.
Firefighters must be in excellent shape in order to be able to withstand the physical demands of their jobs.
While I was there, the firefighters did a little training on the computer, and we watched videos of not what to do on a fire call.
We talked about a variety of different things including the situations involving mass casualties.
While I know they understand everyone cannot be saved, I don't believe they won't try should the need arise.
I am glad I got to know them, and I plan to get to know them a little better.
Do I wish I'd gotten to go on a call? Of course, but we should all know that tragedies don't occur everyday, thankfully.
But, I hope that should the unthinkable happen to me, I'd be looking for this group to help me.
Thanks to the Russellville Fire Department for letting me spend the day with them.