Who do you consider a hero? Have you ever personally known a hero? Anyone can make an impact on lives, but it takes a person being a hero to be a role model and someone to whom you can admire. Heroes can be measured in many ways. I have been fortunate to have many people in my life I admire. I consider a hero to be someone who sacrifices themselves for others, such as a firefighter. I have been fortunate to grow up with two heroes in my home, my dad and big brother. Due to their involvement with the fire department, I am familiar with the sacrifices they face in the line of duty.
My dad has been a firefighter since he was 16 years old. After graduating from EKU, he moved to Gatlinburg, Tenn., and made a living helping others in need. Dad wasn’t just away from where he grew up; he was also away from his wife and his first-born child as well. I will never understand how my parents made this living arrangement work. Once they were expecting another child, my dad decided he needed to change careers to better support the family. He started working full-time at the hospital still helping others, and being a volunteer fireman in the City of Jenkins. Sacrifices come in many ways; my dad’s sacrifice was one of giving up a career and love for his family. How many people are selfless to give up something such as this for their family? Don’t get me wrong; he loves his family, but how many do you know are willing to go back to school and re-train for a new career because that is what is best for his/her family?
My dad still serves as a volunteer fireman in Jenkins and is also the fire chief. He has been instrumental in updating the fire department and works tirelessly to support our community; it seems like his work is never done. The station went from two fire trucks to a complete fleet, the insurance rates have dropped, and many people depend on him for things in our city.
My dad inspires others to follow in his footsteps as many have chosen to be a firefighter, my brother being one. When the sound of the pager goes off, I watch both run out the door to make sure everything is safe. A fireman always puts the needs of others before him/herself with no questions asked. A fireman is the first in to save someone and the last out and always sacrifices their lives for others.