"One day, I was talking to a fireman and he told me to put my application into the Battle Creek Fire Department. I was hired, and it started a wonderful career for me. I loved that every run was different and there were never any two alike.
I drove the rescue squad for nine years out of the old station #1 on Jackson Street and really enjoyed that.
The worst part of the job was when a young child was hurt; that was always hard for me. At the time, BCFD carried life-saving equipment such as an E & J Resuscitator. I liked knowing that I was always there to help someone in need of medical attention. The fire side of the job was hard, because I hated that families lost precious items in fires, like family photos.
One of my favorite memories of station #1 was that there was a restaurant next door, and they had a doorbell with a light attached to it so that while we were there drinking coffee in the morning and got a call, the light would go off and we would go back to the station.
There was never a dull moment at the fire station. I drove an old Dodge standard shift fire truck; it had a small tank with a booster line for small fires. At the time, we went to medical calls, but an ambulance from a company called Battle Creek Ambulance would transport the patients.
One of the most memorable moments for me was when I was sent to a fire and ended up going with the fire station cook, who was always the last to leave. We went to our fire truck and tried to start it, but it didn't want to turn over. We tried and tried, eventually getting it started, but we were far behind, so we took off. Because we were trying to catch up with everyone else, we took a curve too fast in the ladder truck, and it slid sideways! The cook who was driving turned white and the color completely drained out of his face. We were both scared, but we kept it straight and caught up with the other crews. I knew from then on that the cook could drive.
On my days off from the fire department, I would study maps so I knew the roads while I was at work."
-Robert W., Michigan
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