Everyday Angels This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

April 30, 2013
I come from a long line of angels. You think I am kidding, but I'm not. They are everyday heroes who do not get the credit they deserve – everyday heroes many people would die without.

No, I am not talking about doctors or scientists. I am talking about fire fighters and EMS personnel. Everyday people – like my mom, dad, best friend, and me – who volunteer as first responders. Volunteering as a first responder means putting your life on the line every time you are dispatched. But we do this because it may mean saving someone's life, whether due to a house fire, car accident, or drug overdose. My parents have been putting their lives on the line for over 35 years in active duty. I have spent a few years helping in nonactive duty.

My mom started fighting fires in 1977 when she was 16. Then she was the first female active fire fighter in the company. Today she is still a very ­active part of the fire company, serving as a fire ­policewoman. In this role, she helps keep the scene safe during fires and auto collisions. I often go along to help out, even though I am not an active-duty ­member yet.

My dad has been a volunteer for 36 years. He has been risking his life and serving his community since 1976, when he was just 16. In 1995, a few months before I was born, my dad went on a call, riding on the back of the fire truck. When a gust of wind blew, he lost his footing and fell off. The fall displaced vertebrae in his neck and back, which still cause him immense pain. That is only one of my father's crazy fire fighting stories. Another happened at my high school. He was fighting a fire back in the '80s when he fell through a wall as he held a hose. No one warned him that he was getting close to a window. Luckily he didn't get hurt, but was just a little sore afterwards. Today he is a fire ­policeman.

Currently I am working to become a Junior EMS volunteer. You never know what you will find when you get called on an ambulance run. It might be a heart attack or a person on a steroid rage. I don't mind the risks; I just want to be someone's angel at least once in my lifetime.

When I go on calls with my parents or watch a fire truck or ambulance navigate through traffic, I observe how the other drivers react. Some move out of the way as they are supposed to. Some get scared and stop dead in the middle of the road. Others try to play chicken with the ambulance or fire truck. Next time you see a fire truck or ambulance with its lights and sirens going, please try to get out of the way.

Have you ever thought to thank these volunteer angels? I thank them every day because I have grown up around them and understand the risks and sacrifices they make. Don't wait for them to have to save your life. Thank them today.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.

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emma3.14 said...
Nov. 7, 2013 at 8:00 am
Wow!  What a wonderful and inspriational piece.  We really don't notice the people around us who are changing and saving lives everyday.  Way to point out and bring attention to a career and life decision that should be honored and recognized daily.  
tinkerbell0221 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Jan. 6, 2014 at 8:02 am
thank you for your comment. its awesome that you appriciate what i wrote about. being a firefighter i am close to the subject and know how little we are thanked at times. but thank you again. 
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