I’m A Firefighter

I don’t know if you knew that. It’s entirely possible that you missed it on the about page. If it seems strange that a firefighter would create a blog called The EMT Spot, consider that the fire service employs more EMTs than any other agency or industry. (Including private ambulance service.)

I didn’t begin my career as a firefighter but I’ll certainly end my career as one. I think I always knew that was the case. I’m a firefighter for a lot of good reasons.

I’m a firefighter because I believe in the honor, the history and the tradition of the American Fire Service.

I’m a firefighter because after a decade of delivering paramedic care, I wanted something more.

I’m a firefighter because I love putting people in the back of an ambulance and taking them to the hospital, but I also love going inside buildings that are on fire, tracking down natural gas leaks, rappelling off stuff, sawing stuff, breaking stuff, checking out alarm panels and crawling through the mud on the bottom of a lake.

I’m a firefighter because I like the way a haligan bar feels in my hand, I like the way my helmet fits on my head and I like the way my bunker gear smells after it’s been in smoke.

I’m a firefighter because I don’t think CFO’s and investors should be making decisions about how I should care for my patients.

I’m a firefighter because it want a career and a retirement.

I’m a firefighter because I like to wave at kids and I like it when they wave back.

I’m a firefighter because I like being a part of a team and I like working with a group of well trained people who are moving towards a common, meaningful goal.

I’m a firefighter because I believe in physical fitness and I like the idea of making a personal commitment to remaining physically fit for duty.

I’m a firefighter because it suits me.

I’m a firefighter because my mother said I should be. (You should listen to your mother.)

I’m a firefighter because I feel our lives should be constant learning process and we should challenge ourselves to remain outside of our comfort zones.

I make no apologies for performing emergency medicine under the banner of the fire service. I’m proud to be a firefighter. I’m proud to wear the uniform. I’m grateful that I’m permitted to do the job. I wouldn’t want to do anything else.

Most of all I’m proud of the men and women who I’m privileged to work beside. They inspire me every day.

Read more stuff like this:

6 Reasons Why You Should Be A Better EMT

Ten Things You Can’t Learn About EMS From Your Computer

Unconventional Thoughts On Emergency Services

Staked Down With A Twig

Waiting Is Serving


  1. I agree completely.

  2. Timothy Clemans says:

    Steve, this is a great list for anyone who wants to create third service EMS agencies.

    “I’m a firefighter because it want a career and a retirement.” My dream employer has been able to ofter that and the union just got LEOFF retirement.

    “I’m a firefighter because I like to wave at kids and I like it when they wave back.” Man I wish that was true for single-function paramedics. When Seattle Fire is presented in parades they show the fire trucks and firefighters but not the paramedics.

  3. Well spoken as always!

  4. Not sure you are aware, but your posts are being hijacked by the website “vitaminshelth.net” For example this post showed up here http://www.vitaminshealth.net/paramedics/i%E2%80%99m-a-firefighter.html.

    Just an FYI.

  5. Great post, Steve, couldn’t have said it better myself.

  6. Sean Fontaine says:

    When I finished reading this post I thought how we’re referred to in different public situations. The public always calls us “the firefighters,” but PD will call us “the paramedics” on medicals/sometimes MVAs and “the firefighters” on fires/sometimes MVAs. In the privates we were never “the EMTs” we were always “the paramedics” when we were on calls of any kind. I just thought the terminology was interesting.


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