Follow Your Dreams, Kids!


Today is National First Responders Day.

A few years ago when my son was still in high school we asked him what he wanted to study, and he responded that he wanted to major in fire protection service, which he did upon graduation. Prior to that he joined our local volunteer fire department as what they call an explorer where teenagers can get an introduction to fire fighting as well as age appropriate training. He went on to be an EMT and to train as an ambulance driver which needed a special license.

In addition to continuing as a volunteer fire fighter, my son is also a 9-1-1 dispatcher.

On every visit to a hands-on/children’s museum, he would make a beeline to the dress up space, grab the boots and fire coat, and head over to the fire truck. Every time.

When he dressed up as a fire fighter and even slept in his fire coat, we thought it was a typical preschool phase, but he surprised us with his choice and has stuck with his five year old self’s dream.

Don’t give up; keep working and you will discover something you love to do.

One of the many fire stations we visited on our trips across the Northeast.

Fire Safety


This week is Fire Prevention Week. My son, who recently graduated from Fire Fighter I had two Fire House Open Houses this past weekend. Local firefighters came to my daughter’s elementary school to talk about fire safety, show the kids the equipment to expect the firefighters to wear, and gave out pencils and fire extinguisher sharpeners. It’s a good way to get the kids involved and to ask their parents questions to keep the whole family safe.

Some suggestions and important things to remember:

1. Do you have smoke detectors on every floor of your house? And inside every bedroom?

2. For second floor bedrooms, do you have an escape ladder or fire escape for your apartment?

3. Do your smoke detectors work? (A good rule of thumb is to change your batteries twice a year – when you change your clocks for Daylight Saving Time, change your smoke detector batteries.)

4. Before you go to bed, clean and straighten your house. Make sure there is a clear path to your exits.

5. Have a meeting place that is away from your house that even the youngest children can remember and find.

6.  My mother always had an emergency bag next to her bed. In it, she kept a flashlight, an emergency phone list, a bottle of water, an extra set of prescription medication, and sometimes a cell phone. I don’t think she ever used it for an emergency, but being prepared is still a good plan to have.

7. Get out of the house, and THEN CALL 9-1-1 from a neighbor’s house or from your cell phone.