Lexington Kentucky, School Project
Nicholas Tefft and Brannon McLarney
Hey guys! My name is Nick and I am currently attending the University of Kentucky as a freshman. I turn 19 on December 7th and I still have no clue what I would like to do with my life, in terms of the work force. In my current CIS class, our teacher has instructed us to study a community of people that live with a different culture than their own. I have worked since my freshman year of high school, but recently stopped working because school was too overwhelming. Once I was provided with the opportunity to study a community, I knew that I wanted to observe a community that requires dedication as a trait to become a part of.
No offense, but I was not a child who was very interested in becoming a fire fighter. As a child, and even up to just 6 months ago, I was fascinated with the idea of becoming a very wealthy investor. I had no moral regard for others at that time because I was young and more interested in making myself happy, than others.
After about a week of being in college I became extremely depressed and began dabbling in anxiety relief medicine, un-prescribed. This simply led to a more depressed version of myself. I immediately thought of the project that my teacher presented us with as a way to get out of the slump I was stuck in and maybe even find a passion for something new. Originally, I wanted to study a drug rehabilitation center and use that to help myself as well. Unfortunately the rehabilitation center was already taken by another group so I continued to brainstorm. One night while lying in bed I came to the conclusion that I could not live the life I was living anymore, and that my views on life in general were flawed. I expected everything from everyone around me, but only gave back when it was beneficial for me as well. The next day in class is when I decided that fire fighters would be the culture/community that I studied. Keep in mind, that up to this point in my life I had been a very self-centered person who was focused on making myself wealthy as opposed to helping others.
Hey guys, this is Brannon for a paragraph. Like Nick, I did not grow up wanting to be a firefighter. It's not that I didn't think it was cool or interesting, there were just other things I wanted to do more. I grew up sort of self-centered, I cared about helping others but not as much as I should have. Visiting with these firefighters and interviewing them really changed my understanding. Firefighters are brave, self-less people that want to help others. They're caring people that really connect and bond with their fellow firefighters. They inspired me to want to live more like that. They even inspired me to maybe look into being a firefighter. In my opinion, being a firefighter is one of the most rewarding jobs you can have because of how good it feels to help others. Thank you guys for your time.
Okay guys, it's back to Nick. I never understood the draw to becoming a fire fighter as a kid. Every natural reaction in your body screams to leave the area of an emergency, but fire fighters run towards them. This project opened my eyes, and showed me that the reward of helping another person is more satisfying than helping myself. This project unintentionally opened my eyes to a beautiful feeling that I had never experienced before.
Up to this point in the semester, I have completed a speech and a paper on fire fighters after I studied two different fire houses in person for a total of about 9 hours and part of a 30 minute interview with a fire fighter. In that 9.5 hours almost every single preconception I had about fire fighters was torn out of my brain and replaced with reality. This reality showed me exactly why every other kid I knew wanted to grow up to be a fire fighter; I had to learn this while I feel like most people are born with a natural motivation to help others.
My perceptions on fire fighters, and both life itself were drastically altered from this project. Like I stated before, I was a pretty selfish person. My focus was primarily on making money for myself to enjoy. I have never been in any emergencies that involved the fire department, and I know of nobody in the field. I obviously knew what fire fighters jobs were, and I was aware of the extent of emergencies you all cover. However, I was not aware of the interactions between fire fighters which in my opinion, is the spine of the fire department. While at fire station 9 in Lexington, I was shown how important one fire fighter means to another. Being an only child with no relatives alive, I immediately envied this relationship that was shared, and began to focus on that. The close relationships are shared throughout all fire fighters across the world, according a fire fighter that I met in Lexington. This intimate bond that is shared between the thousands of fire fighters across the world is the reason why majority of departments are able to respond so efficiently. The knowledge that every fire fighter would lay down their life for another employee, strengthens the performance of fire fighters in general.
This bond that I saw between fire fighters helped show me that I had lost all of my intimate bonds since the beginning of college, and that I need to get them back. Fire fighters have one another to rely on when they need help, and they know that they will always receive help. My selfishness, drug dependence and depression stripped away my loved ones, but this project put me on the correct path to reestablishing our relationships.
At this point I would like to say thank you to an organization, and a person. I appreciate each and every fire fighter for not only their dedication to the public, but for helping me realize what life should be about. More specifically, I would like to say thank you to Emily, my CIS teacher. I was on a path that I never wanted to find myself on. Not only did she assign the project, but she emailed me during the semester, once I was coming off of the path, informing me that she could tell a difference and that she enjoyed having me in class. For a college professor to take time out of their day to notice one specific student out of hundreds is a really meaningful acknowledgement. Thank you Emily. You were one of the reasons that I was able to stray from this path of mine, and start down this absolutely beautiful new path that I am on.
I hope you all enjoyed this read as much as I enjoyed typing it. Please leave any type of response. Have a wonderful day.