So -- Why do children want to be firefighters? In 1998, an unscientific questionnaire was developed to gather primary-source data for this project. Over the next four years, the "Didja' Ever Want To Be a FIREMAN?" survey was distributed to family, friends, colleagues, and via the World Wide Web. Two hundred and nineteen replies were received from forty-one states and four foreign countries. The vast majority of respondents, (164 versus 55), stated "yes" to having some childhood desire to be a firefighter. While the survey was conducted with an unscientific sample group, (more replies were received from firefighters than non-firefighters), the numbers are supported with abundant secondary evidence. Indeed, even those who denied having any such aspirations themselves, stated, "yes!" they believed most kids do want to be firefighters at some point in their lives.
The nine survey questions asked about childhood recollections and experiences with firefighters, and probed for the underlying reasons why children aspire to be firefighters. The replies were as telling and varied as the individuals providing them, but four primary reasons emerged: Because of the excitement, the profession's heroics and hero-worship, family connections, or for the group affiliation and camaraderie.
"Hey mom!" He yelled from the attic door,
"What's these old heavy boots and hard hat for?"
With a lump in her throat and a tear stained cheek
His mother swallowed and started to speak.
"Come here my son," his mother said,
"There's things to tell when I clear my head."
The past races madly through her mind.
She searched her heart for the words to find.
At last she sighed and rubbed his hair
And the words that followed I'd like to share.
"Those boots & hat," She said with pride,
"Were worn by a man with grit inside.
He wore them to help people in need.
Though facing danger would never concede.
Many a time in the dead of night
He jumped in those boots and flashed out of sight
To answer a call, not knowing for sure
What danger or heartache he may have to endure.
Your father, my son, was not like most dads,
It was mainly because of the job he had.
His life was devoted to all of mankind,
Just why he chose it's not clear in my mind.
I've often regretted the life that we led,
When every third night I was alone in our bed.
But your mother is proud to say she was part
Of a man who possessed such a courageous heart.
So the memories I've kept & the love I will save
Are small consolations for the life that he gave.
Yet, for all his discomfort & all of his pain
The time that he spent here was never in vain."
I know full well these words to be true,
And not one word did she misconstrue.
But from all my mother shared that day
It's these last few words I'd like to convey.
My mother, with tears, save a long loving sigh,
And I knew what would follow was not meant to die.
With a smile so warm & a voice very weak,
She kissed my young brow & started to speak.
"Your father's days here made others seem brighter.
For your father, my son, was a firefighter."
Your answer should begin with: The reasons why I want to become a firefighter are
If it involves telling a story you need to rework your answer!
Firefighting is a career that can make you feel proud and accomplished, and it is a career in which I have a lot of respect for. In order to be a firefighter you must be in shape, prepared, experienced, and ready to deal with your job emotionally as well as physically. I chose to be a firefighter because I want to be able to help others and make them feel safe to live in their communities. After visiting some actual fire departments, I realized as a firefighter you certainly have a lot to be proud of. It's not your average job and does require quite a bit of organization to stay on top of everything. Everyday you have to be ready and prepared for just about anything that can happen.
The reasons why I want to become a firefighter are:
I really like to help people- I work now as an EMT and I really enjoy somebody holding my hand and looking me in the eye and saying thank you.
I have thought long and hard about the answer to why do you want to be a firefighter. I'm having a tough time putting it into words. My biggest desire to be a firefighter is because I love the way the department functions first as a family, then as a job.
"I Wish You Could Know"
I wish you could know what it is like to search a burning bedroom for
trapped children at 3AM, flames rolling above your head, your palms and
knees burning as you crawl, the floor sagging under your weight as the
kitchen below you burns.
I wish you could comprehend a wife's horror at 6 in the morning as I check
her husband of 40 years for a pulse and find none. I start CPR anyway,
hoping to bring him back, knowing intuitively it is too late. But wanting
his wife and family to know everything possible was done to try to save his life.
I wish you knew the unique smell of burning insulation, the taste of
soot-filled mucus, the feeling of intense heat through your turnout gear,
the sound of flames crackling, the eeriness of being able to see absolutely
nothing in dense smoke-sensations that I've become too familiar with.
I wish you could read my mind as I respond to a building fire "Is this A
false alarm or a working fire? How is the building constructed? What hazards
await me? Is anyone trapped?" Or to call, "What is wrong with the patient?
Is it minor or life-threatening? Is the caller really in distress or is he waiting for us with a 2x4 or a gun?"
I wish you could be in the emergency room as a doctor pronounces dead the
beautiful five-year old girl that I have been trying to save during the past
25 minutes. Who will never go on her first date or say the words, "I love you Mommy" again.
I wish you could know the frustration I feel in the cab of the engine, squad,
or my personal vehicle, the driver with his foot pressing down hard on the
pedal, my arm tugging again and again at the air horn chain, as you fail to
yield the right-of-way at an intersection or in traffic. When you need us
however, your first comment upon our arrival will be, "It took you forever to get here!"
I wish you could know my thoughts as I help extricate a girl of teenage years
from the remains of her automobile. "What if this was my daughter, sister, my
girlfriend or a friend? What were her parents reaction going to be when they
opened the door to find a police officer with hat in hand?"
I wish you could know how it feels to walk in the back door and greet my
parents and family, not having the heart to tell them that I nearly did not
come back from the last call.
I wish you could know how it feels dispatching officers, firefighters and
EMT's out and when we call for them and our heart drops because no one answers
back or to here a bone chilling 911 call of a child or wife needing assistance.
I wish you could feel the hurt as people verbally, and sometimes physically,
abuse us or belittle what I do, or as they express their attitudes of, "It will never happen to me.
I wish you could realize the physical, emotional and mental drain or missed
meals, lost sleep and forgone social activities, in addition to all the
tragedy my eyes have seen.
I wish you could know the brotherhood and self-satisfaction of helping save
a life or preserving someone's property, or being able to be there in time
of crisis, or creating order from total chaos.
I wish you could understand what it feels like to have a little boy tugging
at your arm and asking, "Is Mommy okay?" Not even being able to look in his
eyes without tears from your own and not knowing what to say. Or to have to
hold back a long time friend who watches his buddy having CPR done on him as
they take him away in the Medic Unit. You know all along he did not have his
seat belt on. A sensation that I have become too familiar with.
Unless you have lived with this kind of life, you will never truly understand
or appreciate who I am, we are, or what our job really means to us......
I wish you could though.
* author unknown *
I asked a candidate, who was testing for Oakland, during coaching one day why he wanted to be a firefighter. He gave me the typical Clone answer, It's giving back to the community, public service, helping other's, blah, blah, zzzzzzzzzzzz.
After a written test I asked a group of six candidates why they wanted to be firefighters. They were amazed that what they thought was unique was only a Clone. After I worked with one in the group with his signature story of why he wanted to be a firefighter, the rest of the group used the formula to put together their own too.