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MunicipalIamA firefighter AMA!

Feb 4th 2015 by Game_Blouses11 • 37 Questions • 2302 Points

Hey Everyone. Im Mike and thanks for checking out my AMA. Like the Title says, I am a firefighter. It will be 4 years this upcoming October. Id love to field any kinds of questions, from work stories to if you are interested in being a firefighter and need advice on how to become one.

My Proof: http://imgur.com/XswhmlI

Hey thank yall for all the great questions. I will do my best to get to each and every one of them as soon as I can!

Q:

What is the biggest difference between your job and the way firefighters are portrayed in movies and TV shows like Chicago Fire?

A:

They actually do a pretty good job of using correct terminology and what not. The biggest difference is the complexity of their calls. Some of them are just crazy, but make for good entertainment


Q:

Chicago Fire always turned me off on how ridiculously good looking everyone is. Rescue Me is more like it.

A:

Hey all fire fighters are ridiculously good looking haha


Q:

How big is the rivalry between your house and the local PD? Is this mostly played up on TV/movies or is it a real thing?

How good is your house's cook?

A:

Well the rookies cook and most of them are awful at first haha I love to cook so Ill spell our rookie a lot of times and Im a dang fine chef! The rivalry is real. I have respect for what they do. But our rivalry is based on who each other thinks is in charge. Basically any call We as a FD are called out to, we are in charge of that scene. They dont like that haha


Q:

What do you define a "rookie" as?

A:

any first year firefighter


Q:

Have you ever been called out to a cat stuck in a tree?

A:

Thats a bit cliche lol.. No never a cat, but a 7 yr old boy yes.


Q:

How is the majority of your time spent when you aren't fighting fires?

A:

Honestly, the majority of the calls we get arent fire related. The district I work in has a major highway and a major street running right through it. We get a ton of car accident calls. But on slow days when we are just at the station, I like to work out, catch up on paperwork, do laundry, cook, watch tv, play cards with the guys.


Q:

So what's the environment like at the firehouse? Relaxed when no fires, and serious when there is a fire?

A:

I would say it is overall very relaxed. You have to live with these guys 1 outta every 3 days. Its better for team morale to be relaxed


Q:

What is one easy thing you can do to make your house safer?

A:

Purchase Carbon monoxide detectors. They are relatively cheap and you can buy good ones that plug directly into an outlet for easy install


Q:

Even though you get to use real hoses, do you still pretend you are a fireman when you pee outside?

A:

1000000% yes!


Q:

Pardon my frankness but how much of a pussy magnet is being a firefighter to any woman you meet?

A:

Alot of guys get laid just for that very reason. Im just not that type of guy


Q:

What type of work did you do before becoming a firefighter?

A:

I didnt haha. I graduated from college and began applying at different departments right after.


Q:

Was your college degree fire related? I been thinking of going to school for emt/paramedic in hopes of it helping me land your job. Also is 28 too old?

EDIT: Thanks all for all the helpful replies.

A:

28 is not too old at all. You can apply all the way up to 35 in the city I work in. I have a Criminal Justice degree so nope not fire related. Yes go get the EMT cert it will help you a ton


Q:

How does it feel going down a fireman's pole?

A:

Oh man I wish we had one! We have a single story fire house. So a pole isnt necessary haha


Q:

How do you guys stay warm when fighting fires in the bitter cold and with all that water falling on you? It looks so miserable. I want to stop and pass out hot coffee when I see you doing this, but the area is cordoned off.

A:

Well I have really never encountered this. One perk of living in the South haha I would imagine its brutal to deal with elements like that


Q:

What was your proudest moment on the job?

A:

Besides all the normal stuff, like saving lives and what not. Id say the proudest day was the day I got my badge. My grandfather came up to me, put his hand on my shoulder, and said "youre going to do great things, and I am so proud of the man youve become". The reason this is so special is because he passed away 4 months later


Q:

Why do firemen show up at scenes like a heart attack or something medically related and not a fire related call?

A:

I can only answer for the city I work in. We have an outside company thats under contract do our EMS. So In our case, a fire station is more than likely going to be able to respond quicker to a medical call. Every single firefighter in the department I work in is at least EMT- I (advanced) certified, so we are willing and able to handle the situation until the ambo arrives. Thanks for your question!


Q:

Hey Mike - thank you for your work. What was the scariest moment you've had on the job?

A:

The first working house fire I did. Yes we do a ton and ton of training. Watch tons of footage on fire behavior and see many demonstrations. But there is nothing like running into an actual burning house. Its terrifying and an adrenaline rush all wrapped into one big package


Q:

No hassle about that beard in your department? ;)

A:

Hahaha well I had 3 days of vacation I had to use, so I get to have my beard for 11 days! Comes off tomorrow though :(


Q:

Hi, /u/Game_Blouses11!

Children are often see firefighters as heroes. Who do you see as hero?

A:

My fellow firefighters, police officers, military personnel, teachers


Q:

Paramedics all over the country just cried a little.

A:

I should have said all first responders!


Q:

Hi I'm diabetic and drink 4 Mountain Dews a day and don't take my medicine. I fell. LIFT ASSIST PLEASE?

(I hope that stressed you out) :P

My friend was a firefighter in Gwinnett County, GA., and was held hostage for a few days. Bad situation. Thanks for all you do.

A:

the 3 dreaded words.. LIFT ASSIST NEEDED


Q:

Most memorable day on the job?

A:

Oh easy easy! The day I brought a baby into this world


Q:

Have you ever saved someone's life? If so, what was the most dramatic experience of doing so?

A:

My team has saved a few lives over the years Ive been there. Its sad to say but anytime a child is involved, its very dramatic. Because you are concentrating on preserving the life of a child while a parent or parents are screaming and crying in the background


Q:

I live in a university residence with the wonder of being filled to the brim with drunken freshmen that cause the fire alarm to go off at least twice a week. Just wondering of you still act with the same amount of hustle each time?

A:

Yes we take every fire alarm call as if it were a working fire


Q:

How do you overcome fear?

A:

I believe having some bit of fear is a great thing. That means you have the will to live and survive. Once you lose that fear you become almost useless and reckless. But to answer you question, we overcome fear by being trained in just about every situation we will encounter, over and over and over until it is second nature like tying your shoe


Q:

What percentage of your calls is fire related?

A:

25%ish..


Q:

Hey Mike, thank you for your service to the community and this AMA. I guess you see a lot of horrible things in your job, how difficult is it to come back home (family?) and leave your work behind?

A:

I am actually single with no kids. I live alone with my 3 labs haha They actually taught us in the academy on how to compartmentalize our work and family life.


Q:

hey man, also a fireman here. just curious, I work the 24 on 48 off schedule, so what do you do with your dogs on your days when you're at work?

A:

They stay in my back yard. I feed them before shift then as soon as i get home


Q:

How big is your hose?

A:

either an an inch and a half, an inch and three quarters, 2 and a half, or if im lucky 6!


Q:

I know your job is dangerous in general, but has there ever been a situation in your career where you thought "This is the end"?

A:

Fortunately, I have never felt like I was going to die knocks on wood


Q:

Dear lord, I can't tell you much I love firefighters. You bad asses have saved my house so many times. I live in some socal mountains that have a habit of lighting up.

So, will you marry me?

Haha, but really my question is what do you think makes a firefighter successful, and how would you like to see other people implement that in their jobs? You never really see firefighters break apart like at other jobs. Well, not as often I guess.

A:

The answer is Of course Ill marry you!

Hmm good question. Ive never met a firefighter that was passionate about his work. We dont get paid a huge sum of money to put our lives on the line, so you have to love what you do. I think people are always searching for something better. Something more rewarding. Firefighting is a very rewarding job and thats probably why FFs stay FFS for a long time


Q:

This is the happiest day of my life. Minus that one time I stood next to Bob Dylan in an elevator.

Seriously though, I can't thank you enough for what you do.

A:

Ahh Thanks I appreciate that


Q:

Would you challenge Prince to a game of basketball?

A:

No hes too much of a baller


Q:

How fun is your job?

A:

Oh my goodness.. So much fun! I mean yes, there are some bad things that we have to deal with. But man I sure enjoy what I do.


Q:

What is your favorite movie, and why isn't it Backdraft?

A:

Hahaha this a question Ive been asked a million and 1 times lol The Shawshank Redemption is my favorite movie thank ya very much lol


Q:

Hi Mike! Thanks for fighting fires! Appreciate it. One of my questions is what is it like at the station when you aren't out there risking your lives? Did you always know you wanted to be a fire fighter? What's your favorite part about your job?

A:

Very relaxed around the station. I always knew I wanted to do something to help people. When 9/11 happened, I saw what those brave men and women sacrificed to safe strangers thats when I knew for sure. One of my favorite parts of the job, is going to elementary schools during Fire Prevention month


Q:

What was the scariest moment you had while working?

A:

My first working house fire for sure. You do all the training and you are ready, so you think. Its very intimidating to run into an actual building thats on fire