Nathan' First Steps Towards His Firefighting Dream

By Sara Porcaro | Mar 25, 2022
Rhode Island, Disabilities, Inclusive, Workforce, Employee Wellness, Firefighting, Volunteering, Employment

The first step towards making our dreams a reality is getting the courage to try our hand at something new. Sometimes that's easier said than done; whether starting a new business, switching careers or educational tracks, or even volunteering, there's the question of whether that first step is the right step in the first place. But no matter what our goals are, that courage is commendable--especially when it's the courage to learn skills as important as those needed for firefighting, like Nathan has this year!
Ever since Nathan was young, he's been fascinated by firefighters: from the stations and gear to the iconic red trucks. He's always wanted to be part of a firefighting team, and when Career Developer Casey Getchell helped him find an opportunity to learn, he jumped aboard--taking training courses with one of Rhode Island's many volunteer crews. From ensuring the safety lights are working and the truck is prepared for calls, to learning how to operate air packs and other equipment, Nathan's been thrilled to learn it all, and, of course, to get the chance to ride in the fire trucks with his peers as they respond to calls.
"Some things I like to do more than others," Nathan admits, "but all of it's been pretty cool, and I liked getting to be there."
The rescue missions themselves, while thankfully not typically dangerous like putting out fires, have given Nathan more insight into what fire departments do. Whether it be ventilating houses after CO2 alarms go off or investigating other safety hazards, Nathan's training let him see firsthand just what equipment, skill, and work goes into helping out his local community. It's been his favorite part of learning so far--getting to get in the truck and out onto the scene--and it makes the whole process worth it as he learns every step in becoming a full-fledged firefighter.
"I like knowing I can do something to help; it feels great."
"The most exciting thing was getting to go on rescues," Nathan says. "I like knowing I can do something to help; it feels great."
When Nathan isn't at the station learning the ropes, he's home relaxing, enjoying himself with video games and music, with bands like Three Days Grace on his favorite playlists. With the precautions and safety measures he's taken during the COVID-19 pandemic, he's also gotten back into seeing his friends again, as they're spending the warmer days hanging out and chatting after sessions at his local fire station. But he also looks forward to learning more about what it takes to be a firefighter, and with the crew being so friendly and supportive, it becomes a highlight of his day.
In the end, Nathan's goals remain the same: to become a true firefighter one day. He hopes to continue learning about firefighting with his local departments, as he knows he's a helpful and positive person with a lot to offer his community, and he's looking forward to finding ways to keep striving for his dreams. This year, he took that first step towards a dream he's always had, and we're proud of the work he's done and looking forward to what the future holds! Way to go, Nathan!


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