Ask any volunteer firefighter why they accept the challenges they do and they will tell you in their own words that they feel a need to help others and give back to their community. As firefighters work to fulfill their need to help others, they also meet the ever-growing needs of their community. When you join the fire service you are joining a profession steeped in tradition, a brotherhood dating back to the beginning of American History. Today you can walk into any firehouse in the Country, tell them you are a firefighter and you instantly have this connection and shared sense of commitment to something greater than yourself.
Firefighting is very demanding of an individual. Many hours of training are involved, requirements must be met and regulations and standards are to be upheld. Our volunteer firefighters are not compensated in the traditional way for their efforts. There is no monetary bonus, or financial incentive to work harder. However, there is a reward! It comes from the pride the volunteer receives both individually and as part of a team. It comes in the form of a friendly handshake from a grateful citizen or a smile of gratitude. The child’s awe as they see the inside of a fire truck. The smile from a neighbor, friend, or family member in your community who congratulates you on being a part of a thriving, valuable and irreplaceable community organization. Many like the feeling they get when they help people in their time of need and some feel it’s their obligation to serve the community. Yet others just want to belong to the team.
Whatever motivates you to volunteer – everyone gains the self-satisfaction of being at their best when others are dealing with what is often the worst day of their life. Imagine having to prepare yourself to cope with situations that range from structure fires, hazardous chemical spills, vehicle crashes and almost any other conceivable emergency. This diversity is coupled with the fact that these skills may be needed at any time of the day or night, seven days a week, in any kind of weather, and very often under potentially stressful and emotional circumstances. Yet these same factors contribute to our profession being so personally rewarding. The personal rewards and satisfaction received from what we do are often beyond description. There is the sense of accomplishment when you control a structure fire or extend compassion for automobile crash victims, and there is fulfillment from teaching fire safety to children.
The bottom line in our business is measured by the loss of life, pain and suffering, and the property damage we have successfully prevented or reduced. Volunteering in emergency services is one of the most important decisions you may make. We hope that you give this decision the time and serious consideration it deserves, and decide to join our ranks. Our human resources are our greatest assets and we want you to be a part of our team.
Mico Fire Chief