First of all, there really is no typical day as every single day is different. Some days we’re checking our phones to make sure the app is still working because it’s been too quiet. Other days we’ll have 3-4 calls back to back and struggle to remember when we last ate a meal. Most days fall somewhere in-between.
Our fire district gets a higher volume of calls than many of the nearby volunteer departments. Approximately 60% of our calls are for EMS assistance (medical assistance). We also get calls for MVAs (motor vehicle accidents), citizen assists, brush fires, vehicle fires, and the occasional structure fire.
Our station isn’t manned 24/7, so we’re all going through our daily life like everyone else until the pager goes off. (Side note: it’s still called “getting a page” or being “paged out” though it’s a phone app. instead of a pager.)
Grocery shopping? Paged to an MVA (motor vehicle accident).
Trying to eat dinner with the family? Paged to a medical, breathing problems.
Enjoying a good movie? Paged to an assault. (Which means you’ll have to stage nearby and wait for police to secure the scene before going to the address. The wait could be 20 minutes to an hour depending on the situation.)
Taking a shower? Paged to a woods fire.
We may get paged out for “trouble breathing” at 1am, a “single vehicle MVA” at 3am, “sexual assault” at 4am, and then have nothing for the next 12 hours. When the afternoon comes back around we’ll get something like a “diabetic problem” at 4pm, an “MVA with rollover” at 6pm, and then a small brush fire at 8pm.
Please don’t think I’m complaining about the interruptions. While the pages may not always come at a convenient time, I wouldn’t be a volunteer firefighter if I didn’t enjoy helping people. Stay strong out there and take care of one another.
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