I thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to participate in a ridealong with the Alcoa Fire Department on July 28. I've been in human resources almost 30 years and my objective was to learn a little more about fire personnel and what a "typical day" is like for them.
I learned quickly there is no such thing as a typical day. On Mondays the AFD typically does field training, so it was more of a "work-along" day than just riding around in a red truck. I was able to ride on a non-emergency call regarding smoke detectors and an emergency call where an elderly lady fell and busted her head open. I was able to participate in training both in and outside the classroom. It was an eye-opening experience and left me feeling incredibly grateful for our first responders.
I was amazed at the range of required firefighter skills. Aside from their willingness to put themselves in harm's way, they are flexible and can change direction on a dime, go into situations somewhat blind, and provide medical care and empathy to complete strangers. All the while they demonstrate excellent communications skills and remain calm amid chaos. I asked each of them why they chose their occupation, and every firefighter said to make a difference and help people.
It is evident Alcoa firefighters truly have a servant's heart, and I'm thankful I had the chance to spend some time with them. They truly do serve the community with excellence, and thank you Chief Roger Robinson for your leadership.
Nails Creek Road