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An alum from my school (You’ve read that correctly–only one alum) is a firefighter with the FDNY (although there are other alums spread out through the East who are also firefighters). I talked with him for about 50 minutes back on Sunday. Well, probably about that time because between calls he had to put out a fire. Awesome.

Favorite Quotes:

“No, it doesn’t hurt to be smart and be a fireman.”

“Without studying I’ve come pretty close. If I really wanted to become a Leiutenant, I’d probably have to give up my other job and actually study. In reality, I’m just too lazy.”

“You can ask any question you want. It’s not a big deal. I got 100 on my written and my physical test. I didn’t get the call for a long time because they just started that residency thing. So I had to wait 6 years while people who got 100s on their physical tests and 105s on their written tests got the call.”

“You can find a bunch of firefighters who used to be cops, but you’d be pretty hardpressed to find any cops who used to be firefighters.”

“Well, while I was waiting for the call, I was working in admissions at a college so classes were free. That’s how I got my M.B.A.”

“The test for EMTs is a promotional exam. You just have to pass it and you can get into the academy.”

“Sure the pay isn’t that great, but I love my job unconditionally. Not many of my friends can say that.”

“I’m 5’9″, too. Most of the guys on my engine are about my height. It’s not really an issue.”

“Oh yeah, I bring my work to work. That way on my days off I can spend it with my wife and kids.”

“They give you multiple calendars with your schedule for the entire year on it. I go in whenever my group is scheduled and I work with my other job so I can come in when they need me.”

“The Fire Department is completely democratic about vacations. Every nine years you rotate your vacation time. So if I have two weeks in May and March this year, next year it’ll rotate to say, June and August. I’ve been on the job for ten years so I’ve earned six weeks vacation now.”

“Sure, we have the proper training and equipment and everything, but it always gets to that point where you just have to hope God will protect you. Every day I’m not sure I’ll be coming home.”

“We have assigned seats because of 9/11. Sometimes they couldn’t identify bodies or even equipment so if you’re not in your seat they can hopefully figure out who’s missing.”

“I always tell people to just take the test. You don’t have to commit until you put your right hand on that bible.”

“Hey, listen, whenever you’re done with the test, call me, we’ll get together or something.”

So, in summary, the guy’s a total badass. If I heard him right, his wife just raises the kids. Thus saving lives and literature could be feasible, particularly considering how most freelancers don’t get healthcare.  I could edit between fires/accidents/elevator jams/etc. and still be able to afford checkups and all my stupid allergy meds. Just gotta keep running and get out of retail. And more into Rescue Me I guess. Episodes 1 and 3 of Season 1 were pretty awesome. We’ll see how the rest of it goes.

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