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"Why We Serve" featured article

A Tribute to Omaha Firefighters: Q&A

(page 2 of 2)

 

Sean Centeno

Why did you choose to become a firefighter?

Oddly enough, public service was not something I dreamed about when I was a kid. I did the 9-5 office job, that didn't appeal to me at all. A friend told me Omaha Fire was testing, and he thought it would suit me so I researched the job and it seemed to be a great fit.

What are aspects of the job that bring you satisfaction?

Knowing you are on call to assist people in a very bad time in their life. It can be very stressful knowing that on about every call you will see individuals and families on what could be the worst day of their lives. It definitely makes you feel worthwhile.

 What are some of your greatest challenges in being a firefighter?

It can be very demanding physically and emotionally. This job is not for everyone. The schedule is very difficult on your family and your sleeping patterns. A person has to have a switch: to be able to have laser sharp focus one minute and then able to see the whole picture the next. Going from sleep to 100 mph can be difficult.

What advice would you give someone who is considering becoming a firefighter?

Plenty of research. Obviously, being a firefighter signifies suppression of fires, but we also are all EMT's or Paramedics. We help patients with medical problems, people that have been in car wrecks, individuals with traumatic injuries, mitigate hazardous material spills, install smoke detectors, visit schools to discuss fire prevention, and so on. Know the details. It takes critical thinking and being able to multitask.

Please describe yourself in 3 words. Confident, Dependable, Competitive.

 


 

Priscilla Rodriguez

Why did you choose to become a firefighter?

I became a firefighter due to different challenges that a day may bring. It could be saving a cat from a tree, performing CPR on a certain individual, or going into burning building to save a child that is trapped in an upstairs bedroom. Everyday is different and none is ever the same.

What are aspects of the job that bring you satisfaction?

An aspect of the job that brings me great satisfaction is knowing that when I arrive on a medical or fire call that I will hopefully be improving the overall outcome of the situation.

What are some of your greatest challenges in being a firefighter?

Being away from my family for 24 hrs at a time. Never knowing what the day will bring, meaning that I could have a sleepless night and still have to go home and care for my family with only 3-4 hrs of sleep under by belt.

"An aspect of the job that brings me great satisfaction is knowing that when I arrive on a medical or fire call that I will hopefully be improving the overall outcome of the situation."

-Priscilla Rodriguez

What advice would you give someone who is considering becoming a firefighter?

Work hard and have a good sense of humor.

Please provide three words that describe yourself. Outgoing, Caring, A worrier.

 


 

Tom Weaver

Why did you choose to become a firefighter?

It is one of the careers I have always wanted to pursue. All little boys dream of being cowboys, cops, firemen. I decided to chase the dream with the encouragement of my wife.

What are aspects of the job that bring you satisfaction?

Helping someone that is in need. When you show up, people are scared, not sure what to do or how to do it, and it's their worst day. You come in with your training and experience and are able to ease the situation and make things better at a point in time that their lives are at a low. That is an amazing feeling.

What are some of your greatest challenges in being a firefighter?

The violence we see, be it an assault, a shooting, a traumatic car accident. Seeing injuries to kids, watching a person die. It's all part of what we do and what we have to live with. The sudden stress of a heart attack patient, a fire, environmental issues and the rubber neckers that will hit you as they try to stare at a car accident and not pay attention to the road.

What advice would you give someone who is considering becoming a firefighter?

Get your training, it's the best way to get some idea about the career that you are trying to pursue. This job is like skydiving, everyone may want to try it, but not everyone will love it or is cut out for it.

Please describe yourself in 3 words. Devoted, Outdoorsy, Compassionate.

 



Click here to read the companion article to this feature, Editor Rob Killmer's prologue to this piece.

metroMAGAZINE, SpiritofOmaha.com, Omaha's Finest Event Resource

 

Click here to see the KPTM Fox 42 Video about metroMAGAZINE's recovery efforts after the fire.

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Feb 17, 2010 12:54 pm
 Posted by  OmahaFireWife

Thank you for publishing this article. It actually brought tears to my eyes to read the Q&A. Especially knowing 3 out of the 5 interviewed. My husband is a firefighter/paramedic and with all the negative publicity lately, this is exactly what the public needs to read. These men and women love what they do, not for the glory of the job... but the passion they have for every detail. It breaks my heart to read what people write on the news website every time there is an article mentioning Omaha Fire. These men and women aren't just firefighters from 8-5... these individuals LIVE and BREATHE firefighting. Again, thank you. It was a great article.

Feb 19, 2010 12:17 pm
 Posted by  OmahaFireSupporter

I LOVED this article! It's about time Omaha Fire gets some positive press. I'm so sick and tired of hearing all of the negative things about this department. True or not, the men and women who are out serving our community every day and night are not the ones who are making administrative or budget decisions. We need to be thankful for our local firefighters and show them the support they deserve! They sacrifice a lot for the city of Omaha and it's about time we show them our gratitude! Thank you to our firefighters! We appreciate all you do!

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