What Could I be Getting Myself Into?

I know many of you who follow FOF also follow me on Facebook.  There can (at times) be some redundancy between Facebook and FOF...  This is going to be one of those occasions... Only, the difference between Facebook and the FOF blog is that here on the blog, I can ramble on ad-nauseam about a topic, where Facebook only let's me put a couple of sentences at a time out there for public consumption.

When we first moved to our new home, one of the first ideas that occurred to me is that since we would finally be settled for "some time to come" - that I should consider joining the local Volunteer Fire Department.  I thought about, debated it, considered it, postponed thinking about it, and finally justified in my mind why it would not be a good idea.  That was ten years ago. 

Fast forward ten years. 

For the past several weeks, my next door neighbor (who became a firefighter late last summer, maybe early fall), has been "planting the seed" to try and get me to join our local community Volunteer Fire Department.  He joined and started talking about it back then, and (to be honest) I mocked the idea, and (for the most part) disregarded the whole subject.

But, I have been thinking about it...  Seriously...

Then, the other night, we were invited over for a "recreational fire" and s'mores - where he started pitching it to me again... (This time in front of the Mother of Five).  Her asking me "Why not?" then started softening me on the whole idea... Although it's still easy to justify it away...  I'm too old, I'm out of shape, I'm already on call with the SWAT team, I live too far away from the station, etc, etc, etc.

Then, I posted a quick snippet about it on facebook...

"  Oh boy... My neighbor (a volunteer Firefighter) is trying to "recruit" me to try out at the next exam... He has done this a few times, only tonight... The wife was there to hear it.. "Why not?" She says.... Well, it could be an incentive to get myself into a little bit better shape... I've always been in the "no" camp, but to be honest... I think I'm in the "maybe" camp... Gots me some thinking to do.  "

Almost immediately, the update was followed by several comments from Facebook "Friends"... 

1 person likes this - go for it, biggie - Go for it Dave. Good incentive to get in shape and maybe a pension down the line - Just think on HOW many friends you have behind you!!! We will all Support your decision. That's called true friends! - I say go for it. But, well, I may not be a good influence - Wait, wait, wait.... do the volunteers get to wear the outfit? Cuz that's really key to whether I fully support this idea. - I'm afraid that if I COULD fit in a uniform, that I'd come out of a fire lookin' like a puffy toasted marshmallow (posted by me) - I did 3 years as a vol FF. I miss it quite a bit! Loved the work, Loved the excitement! Quit because they turned my house into a Walgreens....You won't regret the experience! - 911 dispatcher, firefighter...dude I want to live in your neighborhood sounds safe - Huh? :) - Could be fun, go for it!  (get in before you hit the age limit- I think 40 is already too old to join in Bloomington) - Sounds interesting! Want to hear more!

So, the first thing I did was check with my neighbor about the age limit.  I am (after all) 40, and in all reality - more than half way to "the finish line" (if you know what I mean)...  No limit.. (well, I am sure there is some sort of limit... but I was told that there was another recent rookie accepted at age 41...) That gives me at least a year.

Excuse Hurdle #1 jumped.

Immediately, I can see a couple of other benefits...  I think the department I dispatch for would benefit by having a dispatcher who could have some "in the field" firefighting experience (we have / had a couple already (LINK) - and the fire department could benefit by having a firefighter with some "behind the radio" experience as well...  (Sort of like having a dispatcher who went to school to be an officer... (LINK))

Like I said before... I do have some serious things to think about... This is a commitment to be taken seriously... 

9 comments:

  1. Jordan FD would be lucky to have a person like you on thier department. If you lived in Bloomington I would have been bugging you from the day I met you (7 years now!) to join. I don't want you to feel pressured to do this, but it would fit you good!

    Good luck my friend and if you need any help or information let me know!

    Bill

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  2. Thanks for those kind words of encouragement Bill... They are really appreciated! Especially from such a fine "Hose Drager" such as yourself!

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  3. OK seriously, you have GOT to tell me how you've worked out the whole "guilt" thing over knowing that you'll be leaving MOF alone with five kids on a (even more) regular basis!

    OR, is she THAT happy to get rid of you? HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA!

    In all seriousness, most of my family up in North Carolina either have, or still do belong to a local fire department. They all have scanners in their houses and they used to go running off at odd hours when we visited. I happen to also know that they (mostly men) spent a good deal of time simply fraternizing with the other members so that they didn't have to hang out at home.

    Come to think of it...this is sounding more and more attractive.

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  4. I'll be curious to find out what you decide. I can see many pros and cons.

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  5. Dave,
    Can you wear red suspenders with leather chaps? Think about it some more, for as you know, the winters here can be very very cold.

    Co-Worker

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  6. I think you are a special guy to consider joining. Big Decision! List out your pros and cons, think about it, consult MoF, pray about it, then follow your leading.

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  7. Don't forget the snappy firemen calendar you get to be in.

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  8. Dave,
    They cannot have an age cutoff, only that you be 18 to start. Being older, may effect your vesting and pension benefits - how long you can/need to work.
    Co-Worker

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  9. Think of the great blog post opportunities!

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