I became a Firefighter because of the passion that was inside of me to help and protect people. I never realized that it would change my life forever.
It was a dream that I always had, to be a Firefighter/Paramedic, all the way back to watching Emergency 911 as a kid. I never knew that it could be possible until a friend a Police Officer told me that I should go through Fire Academy and Paramedic school and work for the FD. Then he told me how to go about doing it. I went through EMT school, Paramedic school and finished with Fire Academy.
I was hired by The City of Oakland Park FD several weeks prior to the end of Fire academy. I attended the Academy with my friend Shannan, our goal, to get hired together. But it didn't happen right away. I took the Job as a FireMedic with Oakland Park after graduation, the greatest day of my life! I am a Firefighter, I really am.
My friend Shannan who was in love with the Fire Dept was waiting to get hired by Lake Worth FD and would be a Volunteer with Palm Beach County while waiting. That day never came, she died several days before starting, killed by a drunk driver. Her Mom told me Shannan would have wanted me to be the best Firefighter I could ever be, for her, and to never give it up. I swore that I would always keep her memory with me and that I would be a Firefighter for her too.
I soon got hired with the Town of Lantana and merged with Palm Beach County and have had a great career for eight years, I recently had surgery for an injury which I got at work that will not allow me to be a Firefighter any longer. It saddens me, but I know that It could be worse.
Giving up this career isn't easy, but my Husband a Firefighter as well and my children make it easier. I know that I will always be a Firefighter in my heart, as for my friend Shannan; she will always be in my heart too.
By; Michelle, palm beach county fire rescue, usa