For week 34 of the 52-week photography project, the challenge was to tell the story of a stranger. At the Grand Island Fire Company’s open house on Friday, October 13th, I found two people, who shared part of their stories with me. One is a fire company cadet, who was giving water bottles and hats to kids, and the other is a member of the fire company, who serves as an emergency medical technician. She was available to answer questions about machinery that is used to save lives.
Question: What motivated you to become a fire cadet?
Patrick: My dad, Pat, is a firefighter in Buffalo and I have always had a love for the job. I like the people, and I like to serve the community. I also like all of the cool equipment and the fire truck. I’ve been a fire cadet for one year and am a senior at St. Joe’s. I want to go to college and study law. I’d like to become a public defender or a prosecutor. I really like the event today. There are people here from different schools, and everyone is having a great time.
Question: Could you explain this equipment to me?
Shelley: This is an AED (automatic external defibrillator). You can find it in public places, such as banks and gyms. The larger tool is a Zoll AED. It is high end. We can determine rhythm rate and can detect irregular rhythms. We can transmit the information to the hospital. If we find that a patient is experiencing a lethal rhythm, we can put him on medications and an IV. Twin Cities Ambulance transports the patients to the hospital.
We are certified first responders. We have EMT (emergency medical technician) basic and EMT paramedics.
And a reminder from instructor Charles Jones about fire safety: Always have a planned escape route and two ways out of any room.
Next week: check back for a new theme in the 52-week photograhy project.