Strange concept. I’m an only child, not much of an extended family, and I really grew up on field crewsâ€¦I’ve always had a crew rather than a family, and not in any real hurry to establish one of my own (though winter’s drawing near and it might be nice to find something warm and cuddly before it starts snowing). I think one of things that really drew me to fire was just that I felt kind of lost without a crew. Ah well, no point getting maudlin.
Never too many family storiesâ€¦you’ve got the kind of big roistering mob I kind of wish I’d hadâ€¦but if I’d had it, I probably wouldn’t have turned out me.
It’s refreshing to hear from somebody who sees fire as a business and a practical thingâ€¦for me it’s fun and camaraderie and play-toy money (I’ve got checks from three fires to spend and waiting on three moreâ€¦gonna get me something nice, but I’m not sure what yet). Most of us have the flames in our eyes so thoroughly we can’t see anything else. Like Mellie saidâ€¦it’s way addictive. I find myself edging toward the 180 club myself (good term), but I’m resisting. Can’t just toss five years of school (well, you can, but I’m telling myself you can’t). Right now I’m doing rural-department vollie (which means structure, wildland, EMS, cats in trees, traffic control, anything you can think of and some things I hope you can’t think of) which is working out to about forty hours a week on top of my fifty-to-sixty hour a week â€˜real’ job. My chief would love it if I quit my day gig to run his ambulance service, but like I said, I’m not ready for the 180 club just yet.
Location is toughâ€¦by some kind of luck I wound up getting a job (sight unseen) in one of the most gorgeous places in the world. As far as getting dispatcher jobs with no experienceâ€¦I don’t know how they expect you to get experience if they won’t hire inexperienced people. I would almost recommend calling individual offices and impressing them with your moxie, intelligence, and willingness to lay it on the line; that might get you more options than you’d have otherwise.
Nerd on the Fireline