Lieutenant Ben Cochran has lived in Prince William County for most of his life. He is a graduate of Osbourn Park High School and an attendee of Northern Virginia Community College in Woodbridge. While in college, he became a volunteer with Prince William County Fire and Rescue System and completed EMT school. His volunteer experiences have led him to where he is in his career today.
“My full time job is a fire inspector for Loudoun County, where I inspect the building fire suppression systems installed throughout the county. My part time job is an instructor at Prince William’s Public Safety Training Academy, where I assist with teaching the volunteer recruit firefighter classes”, said Cochran. “I qualified for both of these positions because of my experience as a volunteer firefighter/Emergency Medical Technician-Basic.”
Cochran began his volunteer career with the Greater Manassas Volunteer Rescue Squad in 1996, where he earned his EMT-N certification. When he later joined the Stonewall Jackson Volunteer Fire and Rescue Department in 2004, he decided to try his hand at “the other side of the house,” meaning firefighting.
“I went through and completed firefighter training in 2006,” he said.
And no matter whether serving as an EMT or a firefighter, his dedication has never wavered. “With the exception of the years when my children were born, I have always been an operational member. I spent the first couple months after my children were born as an administrative member working on other duties,” said Cochran.
Like many volunteers, Cochran’s reasons for joining PWCFRS and continuing to serve for so long are many. First, it’s in his blood.
“Fire and Emergency Medical Service is my family’s business. My father, brother, sister-in-law and two cousins have all been involved with volunteer fire and EMS,” he said. “My dad started volunteering with Fairfax City while he was in college and after graduation turned it into a career. When my brother and I joined Stonewall Jackson, he decided to come out of retirement and join us. My dad taught me how to drive an engine.”
That family involvement drew Cochran in another way, too.
“I would hear the stories from my dad of his training or the calls that he had been on, and it sounded exciting. It sounded exactly like something that I wanted to experience,” he said.
After volunteering for a while, he became deeply involved and accumulated a great deal of experience. He learned that the job isn’t all about the excitement.
“The excitement is only there sometimes,” Cochran said. “The rest of the time, at its core, the job is about service. We serve the public by providing them with guidance when they need it the most.”
Are you ready to gain new skills and experiences and serve your community? Learn more about the many opportunities available to you through PWCFRS.
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 15, 2018
- 0 Comments