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The Hawkeye

Faces of the425: Firefighters

By Kaylee Putrick

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GET TO KNOW THREE FIREFIGHTERS OF BRIER FIRE STATION 18

 

Officer (6)

Bob Nichols
Fire Captain
20 years of service

Have you always wanted to be a firefighter?
I did. My brother was a firefighter, so I hung out with a bunch of firefighters when I was younger. Watching men in their late 20s having a good time in life and doing the heroic thing made me want to be [like them].
Is it hard fighting fires knowing your life is at risk?
Your training definitely dictates how you are going to respond and what you’re thinking about. It’s like anything. If you have been trained over the years, you become competent in what you are supposed to do. If people call, they have an emergency and they want us there so we need to respond.
What is the best thing about being a firefighter?
Personally, it allows me to have the quality of life that I have while raising my family. It allows time away from work to enjoy life. Time is a limited commodity for us and we don’t know how much we have.
Is this a career you would recommend to others?
Absolutely, if you’re so inclined to want to help folks. But you definitely need to have the mentality for it. If somebody was inclined, they would need to try out a volunteer program to see if it’s right for them.

 

 

photo (2) copy

Dirk Christiansen
Medic
13 years of service

 

Have you always wanted to be a firefighter?
No. I moved up here and wanted to see what it was like to drive a truck. I didn’t know it was such a satisfying job. It’s very addicting. One of my first calls was a fatality fire, which is one of the things that drove me to be a medic.
Do you feel like you are making an impact on people’s lives?
Everyday. Everyday somebody calls us with an emergency. It may not be that big of an emergency to us or somebody else, but when they’re calling it is an emergency for them.
Is it hard fighting fires knowing your life is at risk?
The more you do this, the less you think about you verses the people you are going to help.
What is the worst part about being a firefighter?
Kid calls are the worst, whether they’re fire or medical [calls]. Young kids and young adults, as well as drunk drivers, are the worst calls.

 

 

 

 

Officer (5)

Jody Pomper
Firefighter
22 years of service 

Have you always wanted to be a firefighter?
I didn’t. There was a sign up for volunteers and my husband thought I should try it out, so here I am. I originally wanted to be a nurse, so I was interested in the emergency medical training. As it turned out, I liked the firefighting better.
Is it hard fighting fires knowing your life is at risk?
I don’t think it’s something you even think about. You’re just thinking about the technical aspects.
What is the best thing about being a firefighter?
The work schedule was great when my kids were young because I could be at home with them.
Is this a career that you would recommend to others?
It’s not for everybody, but I would definitely recommend it if someone was of the right temperament. You can’t take [what happens at work] home to your family, though. You have to be able to let it go. Not everybody can do that.

 

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The student news site of Mountlake Terrace High School in Mountlake Terrace, Washington.
Faces of the425: Firefighters