Adam Russell is a 6'7'' firefighter who stands tall for respect, honour and courtesy! He's situated in Newfoundland, Canada and here's what he has to say.What made you want to be become a firefighter?
I decided to choose firefighting basically through first volunteering. I was a member of a local search and rescue volunteer group and my friend had started at the fire hall. He called me up one day and asked if I would be interested. Since that day the passion I have for it is crazy! I love everything about it right from making those critical split second decisions in a major accident or fire, to back at the fire hall cleaning the floors and the trucks to make them good and shinny.
Being a tall firefighter has so many difficulties. I could make a huge list but I’ll just name a couple:
- Finding bunker gear and boots to fit me.
- Fitting in the truck sometimes itself can be a challenge depending on which unit we take. I could be in the back trying to get on BA (breathing apparatus) and there isn’t much wiggle room whatsoever.
I would say a lot of people don’t realize that firefighters are professional cleaners. Haha! We do just as much cleaning as we do helping... I think.
Ahh, well... the diet and training really depends on the person. Yes, we are all in decent shape, unlike some other first responder jobs. There are always some people who don’t really watch what they eat, but they typically aren't on the front line. Myself, I just try to eat healthy. I always found it annoying when people say, “like I don’t know how to eat healthy." I mean, everyone knows it’s healthier to eat an apple over a bag of chips. So I don’t follow a strict diet, I just try to keep a balanced one.
In regards to training, I love to work out ...I truly do! I have been working out for 13 years now. For firefighting, I have really had to up my cardio game so I do a lot of hiking and stair master. To be strong is great, but to be able to breath when you need to is every bit better.
So the hours are usually 24 hours on 72 hours off. I also work on the oil field a month at a time and go offshore. I have one month at the fire hall then back offshore for a month.
The most underrated fire prevention tip is..... common sense! They say common sense isn’t so common anymore and it's true. The things we come across in people’s homes is unreal. Simple things like cleaning your chimney, changing batteries in smoke detectors, even having a smoke detector, having a carbon monoxide detector, to simply knowing your local emergency numbers. If it’s isn’t already 911.
Talk. Firefighters talk a lot with each other about everything. You name it they talk about it. Somethings they can only talk to another firefighter about because sometimes the public just doesn’t understand it. And from my experience, everyone has someone on their crew who they can talk to about anything. Sometimes, after a bad call, you just wanna come home and try to forget about it. But sometimes, it’s just not that easy, so it’s nice to get it off your chest.
Ahhh... well I’m not sure where that trend came from until I just googled it. It’s worth a read I’ll leave the link. As for my firehouse, no we don’t have any dalmatians around our place lol!
My mentors are all the older guys at the hall. Listening to all their stories and wisdom can really hit home and you learn a lot!