Hey there,

It's been a few years since visiting this Forum. There was really no reason to contribute when first joined-up because my personal life fell apart halfway through Fire Academy. My longtime best friend was diagnose with Stage IV renal cancer and I furloughed my plans to care of him, dropping Fire II. Fire I ended March 2012. After two years, my school said i could pick up again with the Fire II class this upcoming cycle, but the night class was cancelled due to lack of interest (not enough students). Day class wasn't an option because of my job (I am a contracted teacher with my school district--Title I Drop-Out-Prevention--a rescue job in its own right with a high-risk population, 75% under the poverty-level and 20% homeless ) Instead of joining up with a Fire II class, I landed at a local volunteer department. Chief asked me if I wanted to come to their volunteer meeting one night and I did. Turned out to be orientation for their Fire I training, which I decided to join up with.

Now, not only do I get a refresher my training with Fire I though it's rather like riding a bicycle, I volunteer as a firefighter-EMT there and help out with the training. The other firefighters joke that I'm "Instructor Reese", and I get to live the dream, after 5 years of training for it.

Also, this fire department trains with three other counties and everybody knows everybody. The networking is an added bonus: These are central counties, not the coastal ones, and the network seems much more tightly knit and we get to meet everybody. Slowly adding experience, training, and rank, plodding along. Slow and steady wins the day, I suppose.

I'm here to meet OL firefighters and learn more stuff. This is part of my training