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Bassman's Den
The Volunteer

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The tragic event of September 11, 2001, will always be with me. Authough my family nor I was ever directly affected, the loss of others is felt by us all.
American heroes....I salute you


September 11, 2001
Remember always


The Question



I was at the firehouse one night, when a fellow firefighters' son asked him the question:

Dad, why did you become a volunteer fireman?


He tried to explain, but was soon at a loss for words. "I just like it." was all he could say.


This letter I write is to inform the non-volunteers of our thoughts, when asked the question.


Let's start with the obvious:

      You don't get paid.

            You run into a burning building, while the sane people are running out.

            You get less sleep than normal folks.


Now, onto the really good parts:

            You get up at 2:00 A.M. to race to an accident scene. The sleep is still in your eyes while some drunk is screaming at you, about his new car being smashed.

            Or there is no screaming at all.

            Youre digging your car out of the snow, so you can slip and slide to the firehouse, to get the truck on the way.

            It's 90 degrees outside, and youre in 20 lbs. of bunker gear with a 30 lb. air pack strapped to your back, and youre dragging a water filled hose up a staircase.


Is it sounding fun yet?


But wait! There's more!


Fund raising:


      Working Bingo can be fun -  if you like being complained to.

      Standing in a busy intersection with a boot in your hands, gets donations and sharpens your reflexes at the same time.

            And who can forget those wonderful 50/50 tickets!


This may sound like I have a negative attitude, but I don't.  I'm about to make a point.


Some of the benefits that the non-volunteers dont always see:


      Sharing a laugh with a person who is willing to risk his life to save yours.

      Getting a pat on the back for a job well done.

      Getting a pat on the back, even in failure to get the job done.

      Receiving a thank you card from a person who youve helped.

      Learning from the more experienced.

            Being part of a family made of these extraordinary people.









In 1980, I was 17 years old when I decided to join the local fire company.

The flashing lights, sirens, and thought of riding on the back of a speeding fire truck all seemed pretty appealing to me.

My first time at a fatal auto accident slapped me back into reality. It no longer seemed fun anymore.

The fun of being a fire fighter changed to the yearning to help those in need.

 This is when I learned what the word volunteer really meant.


I got married in 1984, and decided that I was a family man now, and did'nt need to take

unnecessary chances. - mistake


We moved out of the area.


We had 2 children.


After 8 years of contemplating, I decided to saddle up with this little Fire Company up the street.

It was'nt as big as the one I ran with before. It was'nt as busy as the other one either. But what the heck, Id give it a try.


This was one of the best decisions I had ever made. The passion for saving life and property has nothing to do with the size of the building. The people make the fire house.


I've been active with Station 35 since 1992. My wife joined in 1995, and even though she does'nt fight fire, she helps with fund raisers, thus helping the Company in obtaining more equipment to protect the public.


I am still a family man. My family is just a little bigger.


So, in closing, this will be my answer when my children ask me the question.


"I became a volunteer firefighter, because I like to help people.

And knowing that I give my best when called upon, is all the reason Ill ever need."


Saint Florentine is the Patron Saint of Firefighters

Saint Barbara is another

Volunteering is easy...If these guys can do it, so can you!!!