Remember my last post where I told you to stay tuned? Well, here it is! The continuation of my awesome Friday. After the Just Health and Food Summit, I got to spend some time with the Rocky Mount Fire Department (RMFD), and it was an amazing experience
Rocky Mount has 7 fire stations. I was stationed at Fire Station #1, where the Fire Chief is housed. Upon arrival, I was taken to the local Boys and Girls Club where firefighters were playing basketball with the kids as a part of their community outreach program. It was really touching to see how much the kids enjoyed being with them.
After that, I went back to the fire station where I was given a tour and told all about what firefighters do, and these guys are no joke. They work 24-hour shifts, 3 days per week (aren’t you tired just thinking about it?), and they’re not just hanging out at the station waiting for calls. They maintain the equipment, take classes, perform inspections, and do physical training to keep in peak shape. Even with those duties, they have to be ready to go to an emergency at all times. As soon as they are notified, they have approximately 90 seconds to be in route.
Due to this quick turnaround time, the fire department is usually the first to arrive. I was able to go on two calls, and on both we arrived before county Emergency Medical Services. Speaking of medical services, 85% of the calls that RMFD takes are medical emergencies. These firefighters save lives in more ways than one!
Another great aspect of my time with the fire department was seeing the camaraderie among the firefighters. When you are with someone 3 full days a week, you have plenty of time to get close. I was able to have dinner with them, which they cooked for themselves as they do most days (it was delicious, by the way). Though I have a sneaky suspicion the usual dinnertime conversation was tempered for my benefit, it was clear to see they are very comfortable with each other, which I would imagine is essential in this line of work.
Though I was able to chat with Fire Chief Varnell prior to my visit (I talked about that here) and hear all about how amazing the Fire Department is, it was a great experience to see it in person. I left with a great impression of the fire crew I interacted with, and I’m thankful that I was able to learn all about their bravery and service to the City of Rocky Mount.