Meet a Volunteer Fireman

April 1, 2009
By Alec Charles BRONZE, Holmdel, New Jersey
Alec Charles BRONZE, Holmdel, New Jersey
2 articles 0 photos 0 comments

Imagine that you are at work. You are having a completely normal day, when all of a sudden, you get a call from the Fire Chief. You get in your car, and turn on your blue and green flashing lights. You immediately rush to the scene of the fire. Within ten minutes, you have gone from a normal day, to battling a blazing fire. This is the everyday life of Perry Olshein.

Meet Perry Olshein, a volunteer fireman. Every day, he has a chance of being called down from his normal, everyday activities in order to fight a roaring fire. When asked why he chose to be a fireman, he replied, “Ever since I was a kid I wanted to be a fireman or a policeman. I always believed it was important to help people.” Perry makes exterior attacks, which is fighting the fire from outside the building. When asked what it was like to put out fires, he replied, “Putting out fires is hard work. The equipment is very heavy and hard to handle. You can get very tired holding the hose because there is so much pressure pouring out of hose so the water reaches the fire. A fire scene can be very dangerous for the firefighters. On our last fire, the Chief slipped on the ice and broke his ankle.”

In addition to being a firefighter, Perry Olshein is also a first responder. This is like being an EMT (Emergency Medical Technician). In relation to this, Perry said, “When someone gets sick and calls an ambulance, we are many times the first on the scene. One time we had to perform CPR on a patient but unfortunately he died. Knowing that we tried our best to save him makes you feel good but you are still sad for the loss of life. You question all you did, trying to figure out if you did everything right. On most calls the outcome is positive and you get a feeling of satisfaction that you help the people who are in distress.”

Firefighting isn’t just hard work, though. Being a firefighter can be fun. When asked about this, Perry replied; “The fun part of being a firefighter is getting to drive the big engines and tankers with the lights and sirens going. It is pretty cool having a badge also. When our radios go off we have to get to the station as quickly as possible. We have special blue and green lights in our personal vehicles. All the other cars pull over when they see us coming.”

Helping others is so important to Perry, he plans to continue as long as he is physically able. In relation to this, Perry said; “As long as I can physically do the job I will so I can contribute to the community.” Hopefully, Perry Olshein’s volunteer work will provide satisfaction and enjoyment for a long time to come.

The author's comments:
This is an interview of a volunteer fireman, of which I am friends with.

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