Firefighters and EMS: Chambersburg’s Local Heroes

Photo provided by Kirsten Bilger

Photo provided by Kirsten Bilger

We encounter different kinds of heroes in our lives, whether it be our parents, siblings, relatives, friends, or even teachers. There is a group of people that we do not always acknowledge as heroes: our local firefighters and ambulance crews (EMS).

I had the wonderful opportunity to talk to one of our Chambersburg firefighters and get her view on a firefighter’s life. I found out that when the engine gets called out, the ambulance follows. I also found out that Chambersburg Fire Company and EMS are made up of a variety of paid and volunteer staff. Though, before volunteers can start helping out, they have to undergo a year of training. To be a volunteer or paid, it takes time and dedication. One thing that Jackie mentioned is that this profession is a “think on your feet” way of life. She said, “For those kinds of situations where we are needed, we become the problem solvers where we are faced with a problem and must figure out a solution on the spot to fix the problem and make it better.”

I asked Jackie what they do other than the obvious of putting out fires. She told me the different things that they do which include “preventing fires and accidents from happening by teaching people about safety, checking fire codes for every business in Chambersburg once every three years, install smoke alarms, have programs at the station for kids, and the fire safety education during October.”

For the fire safety education, Chambersburg Fire Company and EMS will go to the different schools in the area and teach all the kids about what to do during a fire situation. The kids can even go in the ambulance and fire engine to see what it is like. Two big reasons as to why this happens is that spreading knowledge about fires and accidents will teach kids what not to do and the other is to gain children’s trust. By seeing firefighters and EMS staff, kids get used to seeing their faces and gear so as not to be frightened by them if they are ever in a fire or accident.

I asked Jackie what she thought the most rewarding thing was about being a firefighter. She told me, “Knowing that I’ve helped someone somehow, no matter how small. Whether it is helping someone out, keeping someone calm on scene, or even rescuing ducks from a grate. To see a look of relief on someone’s face, they get a sense of ease and know that there is someone that they can count on.”

Firefighters/EMS put their lives on the line for everyone in the community, making sure that everyone is safe and well protected, while they are the ones who face danger on a daily basis.

From Wilson College and the community we thank our local Chambersburg fire department and ambulance crew for all that you have done and will continue to do for us.

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