Anyone starting a new venture has expectations of how things will work out, even if you know very little about your new situation. If you’re considering becoming a fire and rescue volunteer, you may expect excitement around the clock or picture what it’s like to bunk at the station. Rescue Lieutenant Andrew Sauer shares key tidbits of what you can actually expect as a volunteer with Prince William County Fire and Rescue System.
Sauer shared the rewards of volunteering in part 3 of this series. He also shared a number of challenges volunteers contend with, noting time away from family, holidays at the station, fearing for your safety at times and witnessing death. Thankfully these challenges are balanced by the incredible rewards of helping and saving people.
This type of volunteering takes a special kind of commitment. “Sometimes you’ll be at home, and you’ll hear something that sounds vaguely like the tones at the station, and your heart rate will suddenly lurch up. Other times you’ll be at home and hear some sirens go by, and you’ll wish you were with them,” shared Sauer. “You will be unable to explain to people without your experience what it’s really like to do this job.”
Sauer also notes “There is a lot, and I mean a lot, of training.” Fire and rescue volunteers make the commitment to service, and PWCFRS commits to providing the training each one needs.
Many community members do not understand the scope of these volunteer positions or the vast skill set that fire and rescue volunteers possess.
“I really wish the public understood more about what volunteers do,” said Sauer. “We do everything our paid counterparts do. We go through all the same certifications and training courses. It is a lot of time and effort. But we do it because we love it, and we’re happy to do it.”
As a paramedic, Sauer is equipped to interpret cardiac EKGs, administer various medications, use electrical therapy to correct a bad heart rhythm, place a tube in an airway for someone and perform many more advanced life-saving techniques.
“This all comes with significant training and a continued training requirement,” said Sauer.
For new recruits or those interested in becoming a fire and rescue volunteer, Sauer wisely notes that you will get out of the experience what you put into it.
“You are going to be a part of an incredible organization, and you will share the experience with some incredible people,” he said. “It will change you as a person.”
Sauer promises that after coming on board, “You will never again hear a siren without thinking, ‘I wonder where they’re going.’”
Where are you going? Could becoming a fire and rescue volunteer with PWCFRS be a good fit for you? Find out more today.
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 January 1, 2018
- 0 Comments