What’s it Like?

A Different Animal

Most people who join a volunteer fire company have little idea about what to expect. They are thrust into a world that has been established for over 250 years. A world with unspoken rules and expectations. A world with high risks and little rewards. Many new fire fighters get lost along the way. They have difficulty handling the demands of the service or the expectations of veteran members; all to the detriment of the organization and the community. But, Rescue Fire Company is a different animal.

At Rescue Fire Company, we have a rich history of supporting new members as they find their way in the fire service.  Many of our members have moved on to great careers in emergency services, built by years of training and professional development.  Our in-housetraining program has been developed by veterans, instructors, and career fire fighters with a combined experience of over 75 years. We employ the latest technologies in our response arsenal and we are consistently updating strategies as we strive to maintain our sharp edge. We clearly define our expectation and requirements for new members when they start. Many of our officers and training staff are certified instructors and are willing to work new members as they pursue their certifications.

 

All Walks of Life

You don’t have to be a beefy man to join the Rescue Fire Company. Our volunteers come from all walks of life! Everyone contributes their own expertise and helps the Rescue Fire Company in their own way.  We have male fire fighters that weight 240 lbs. and female firefighters that weight 100 lbs. It doesn’t matter. From the member who runs into burning buildings to the member who manages our events calendar, anyone who is willing to donate their time is useful to the Rescue Fire Company.

 

Service for Life

All of our members joined for different reasons, but they stay for the same one. We serve a purpose higher than ourselves. When our pager goes off at 3am, it’s that purpose that makes us run out into the winter cold. It is that purpose that forges friendships and family. Make no mistake – Fire fighting is hard, tiring, and stressful work. But it’s worth every drop of sweat. It is a service that will change you for life.

 

Thick Skin

“I think the best fire service interview question that I have ever heard was ‘Do you consider yourself to have thick skin?’ It certainly applies to the things we see on a daily basis, but also to the social aspect of the fire house.  Fire Fighters are expected to put themselves in stressful situations and still be able to function intelligently and within a team environment. As with any organization, the fire community consists of hundreds of personalities… and all those personalities do not always get along. But when the bell goes off, we move as one unit with a single purpose. You need a thick skin to survive in the fire service for sure. And if you don’t have one, Rescue Fire Company is a great place to grow it! I have been in the fire service for 13 years and been a member of 3 different fire companies. I can honestly say that Rescue Fire Company is one of the best places to learn, grow, and elevate yourself.”

FF Jonathan Rogalski
Member Since 1999
Software Engineer

 

When No One is Looking

“I really enjoy being a member of the Fire Service. It is a great feeling when you can help someone through a very bad time in their lives. Maybe having a hand in saving their lives or their property. Never expecting to be thanked for the service we provide. The brotherhood of our fellow fire department members is another great reason to belong to the Rescue Fire Co.”

FF Tom Nickle
Career Firefighter

 

In your Blood

“Being around the fire service for many of years growing up is what drove me to become a firefighter myself, as many would say it’s in your blood.  Being in or exposed to the fire service is what sparked my interest in becoming an RN as my profession.  I enjoy helping people in their time of need and knowing that there are individuals like myself out there doing the same thing day after day.”

FF Erik Toth
Member Since 1997
Registered Nurse

 

Vocation and Avocation

“I joined the fire service to hang out with my friends and cut cars apart, then found that I also liked the firefighting side and eventually found a carreer 10 years later in the EMS industry.  Rescue Fire Company is a class company, with many wonderful people.  They are a family with many generations of members still active.  I still recall the saying of Chuck Knoll, Coach of the Pittsburgh Steelers, who said that a person has to know the difference between their vocation and avocation, and get on with their life.  How lucky I was that both my vocation and avocation are in the same field.”

FF John R. Logan
Member Since 2003
Director of Operations/Chief – Pinnacle Health Community LifeTeam, Inc.

 

Paving the Way

“When I joined the fire company in 1997 I was looking forward to riding the best Heavy Rescue in the area. RFC was extremly instrumental in getting me the required training that is required to become a career firefighter. I learned alot of much needed knowledge while riding at the fire company. Thanks to all of those that paved the way and made the fire company what it is today. Remember one thing: Never forget where you came from!!!!”

FF Sam Keim III
Member Since 1997
Federal firefighter/Paramedic

 

Thanks to the members of the Rescue Fire Company for providing the content for this article.