There are some super heroes who walk among us that do not wear capes, do not fly, but they are our real life saviors. These are our everyday heroes, those brave enough to run inside burning builds. Those brave enough to risk their own lives to save that of another. These are the heroes we see every day but think nothing of, these are the strong few who make a difference in many lives around the world. The brave firefighters, risking it all to protect, defend and shield. These highly trained and skilled fighters do not think twice about serving civilians, it is their priority.
The Mission Statement of Westview-Fairforest Fire Department, “Dedicated to provide professional care and services to the community with courage, honor and compassion”. This is the mission Lieutenant Joshua Burnett follows. Burnett has been at Westview-Fairforest Fire Department for 22 years, working as a firefighter is a passion, saving lives is his simple a part of who he is. Burnett is a resident of Greer, where he lives with his wife and two children. Although Burnett did not complete college, he is well educated in the procedure associated with putting out fires, and other matters corresponding to being a respectable firefighter. Burnett takes classes connected to the fire department as firefighters must always be training and educating themselves with the changing times. Burnett first found his passion in fire fighting when he worked as a volunteer, that path led him to discovering the joy and rewards in the career path of fire fighting.
Lieutenant Burnett describes working as a firefighter to be a challenging job, filled with many hardships, but doing good triumphs over some of the horrid scenes firefighters face. Burnett works a 24-48 schedule, working all day with his team members. As the hours drag by, each day is filled with different tasks, to keep him on his feet. A typical day in the life of this hero ranges from debriefing shifts, to maintaining the fire truck equipments and inspections. Burnett receives training three times a week Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. These brave fighters have no days off and very rarely do they have spend holidays with family. For the job is demanding and hectic. Burnett describes himself as someone who must always be prepared, because there are many surprises and heartache that follows the job.
One of the requirements of being a fine fighter is being able to work with other people. Burnett depends on the other members of his team to have his back, or be well prepared in face of danger. There are always many individuals on a shift- in order to respond to a call properly. All of the fighters must have weekly trainings and or EMT training to respond effectively to an emergency. It is a strenuous career path and one that depends on union of other fire departments and firefighters. In working with many other firefighters, each brings his/ her own individual strength to the team. One fighter may be stronger in a certain way and this strengthens the ability of the team.
In any career path there are learning experiences, Burnett states as a firefighter he has learned to always be ready to act, to be prepared in any and all situations. Since the alarm may ring at a moment’s notice and he and his team mates must be ready and on the road. It is impossible to know what you will experience in the field, it is always a rush to save lives and put out fires. But with great success there are moments of struggle. Being away constantly, Burnett’s wife and children worry for his safety and well-being. The job also takes a toll on him physically, the vigor one must have to run into buildings and put out fires impacts the body. Burnett describes putting out a fire for 3-4 hours can be compared to working 40 hours a week. Mentally, there are situations in which Burnett cannot forget, experiences in the field which influences his mind. It is through these experiences, Burnett has learned to be a superior man and firefighter. To remain stable and more comfortable, Burnett depends on his family to deal with stress or other emotional bearing events. There are also stress debriefing meetings for firefighters. Burnett’s hobbies are also a way to relieve the toll of being a firefighter, he enjoys going out on his boat and fishing. Burnett also likes radio controlled cars and fixing machines. The simplest part of life gives pleasure to him.
The motivation behind being a strong firefighter as described by Burnett is having the opportunity
to make a difference or influencing someone. Influencing an individual to do good as he himself has done. Impacting the lives of those he rescues, or making his family proud. Burnett is proud of the work he has done, he makes a difference in many lives and this makes him a hero. Burnett’s cape is his uniform, his super strength is his ability to save lives, his super speed is his ability to run into burning building. Burnett is a real life superhero, his work has not gone unnoticed. He helps, he saves, he makes a difference, he is appreciated.
I am currently a senior at High Point Academy where I am a member of the Beta Club. I am an all A's student. I am a certified member of CERT. I participated on the varsity volleyball team. In the future I would like to become a pediatric nurse or work in the medical field.