Health & Safety Officer/Firefighter/EMT
I'm honored to be a part of a team of fellow first responders who want to work on changing the culture of the fire service. Fire and EMS is the best job in the world but even the best job has its downs. We see things that a majority of the population doesn't. We are called upon during a persons worst day ever and we're expected to perform at an exemplary level. What outsiders don't understand is after that call is done, how do we feel? What are we going through? Does it even affect us anymore?
I'm 100% guilty of holding my feeling in when I should've let them out. I'm extremely fortunate of being in a relationship with an amazing hospital nurse who understands the hardships of the job and that allows me to express my emotions to someone I look up to. She's shown me that it's ok to express your feelings and talk about it. That's what I'm hoping to help with moving forward.
Firefighters, both male and female, are looked upon as tough, hard-nosed, no B.S. people. The days of holding in your feelings should be over. We need to change the culture and be open about how we're feeling. We don't receive a badge of honor because we held our emotions in the longest. I've been to firefighter funerals and they're the worst. I've provided station coverage for neighboring departments while they say goodbye to one of their own. We need to do better and we will do better.