For Lieutenant Ben Cochran, fire and rescue work was a natural fit. He notes just how easily he settled into his roles right from the start.
“My first impression when I first joined Stonewall was how the members treated me. I was the ‘new guy’ but that didn’t matter,” said Cochran. “I already had some training and basic skills and I knew a couple members prior to joining, but that didn’t matter to a majority of the folks that I met. The membership was so inviting and welcoming.”
This welcoming comradery stuck with Cochran, and he, in turn, has sought to share the same with others.
“Over my time with the department I have seen a lot of people come and go, but I have tried to treat everyone the way I was treated when I joined. This is important because you never know when the next fire chief will join,” said Cochran.
Anyone with an interest in fire and rescue work is encouraged to come volunteer. The opportunities abound, and the team is always glad to have you. You never know what an impact you could have until you are in the trenches.
Cochran notes one occasion in which his involvement in a search team had an enormous impact on the life of a 4-year-old boy.
“In December 2009, my unit was dispatched to assist the police with locating a 4-year-old boy who had walked away from his home one evening. It was very cold that night and the boy did not have a coat or shoes,” Cochran said. “Through the combined efforts of the four SJVFD units (engine, truck, ambulance and battalion chief), one PW Department of Fire and Rescue medic unit and the PW Police, the boy was able to be located and returned to his family safely.”
The incident had the potential to have a tragic outcome, but thanks to the dedicated volunteers and public service workers, he came home safe.
“That night we were all fortunate to have played a part in bringing that boy home to his parents safely,” he said.
While the rewards are plenty, Cochran shares there are some challenges along the way. In particular, it can be physically demanding, depending upon your role, and can challenge your mind and emotions.
“Some of the training that we complete requires the trainee to perform a task, or learn a skill, that is physically demanding — tasks such as pulling a hose through a burning room, performing CPR or rappelling off of an elevated platform,” he said. “However, the mental aspects will also be a challenge to overcome. That is the part that I still struggle with sometimes. You never know how the outcome of a call will affect you. The challenge is to learn from how the call affected you so that you can learn from it, get help if needed, get back on the truck, and do it again.”
PWCFRS offers a variety of positions to fit the needs of any volunteer.
Cochran notes, “These positions offer the personal reward of knowing that your work will touch someone’s life in such a positive manner. That person is probably a perfect stranger that you had never met and will probably never see again, but their life is changed for the better because of your actions.”
Ready to see what you can give to your community and learn from PWCFRS? Contact us to learn more about the fire, rescue and administrative positions available.
Are you looking for a change? Here in Prince William County, the volunteer departments provide fire and emergency medical services to the County’s citizens and visitors during weekday evenings, weekends and holidays. Prince William County’s volunteer fire and rescue departments are seeking motivated individuals who have the desire to make a difference and provide an important service to their community. Learn more now.
- Posted by ATW
- On May 30, 2018
- 0 Comments