Firefighter Friday: Father Inspires Daughter to Become a Firefighter, Now They Work Together
It's a very special "Firefighter Friday." We get to talk to father daughter duo, James and Rebecca Rouillier, from the Lee Center Volunteer Fire Department.
James Rouillier Jr., is Chief of the Lee Center Volunteer Fire Department, and his daughter Becca has been a firefighter for almost four years. We asked James what first got him interested in firefighting. He explains that his father was a firefighter, and it's just how it was. His father would be leaving the house and it would be like "where's dad going," "oh, to a fire" and he's just grown up around it. We asked if that was the same case for Becca, to which she replied, "Yeah, seeing my dad run out of the house (to go on a call), I always wanted to go with him."
Becca was the one to nominate her father for "Firefighter Friday," and in the nomination form she mentioned that her dad was the one to inspire her to become a firefighter. We asked James how that made him feel...
Very proud, to be a father. I've heard several people talk that you had on the show about it's "dad" at home, when you go to the call it's "Chief." Tried to get that instilled in her...
He says, as he points to his daughter. This causes Becca to laugh, because she has a hard time remembering that sometimes.
James mentions that just because she's his daughter, Becca doesn't get any special treatment at the fire station or during a call. Yes, it may be hard to put your own family member in danger when there's an emergency, but he does what he has to do, so both him and Becca can do their job, and do it correctly.
We asked him what it's like to have one of his own kids working beside him. He explains,
Proud. Very proud to watch her with her training skills go on. Right now we're trying to work with her with her Scott-Pack, breathing apparatus. She's claustrophobic, doesn't like that on her face. We're trying to get around that...
Naomi Lynn could understand this. Just a few months ago, she tried on an air-tank and the breathing mask and it made her VERY uncomfortable. It's just one more thing she gives credit to firefighters for having to deal with.
We asked Becca what her most memorable moment she's had as a firefighter so far. She says it was when she got her EMT. We asked her if she had to use that training so far and she says she's had to a little bit. We figured she would have because medical calls are usually the most common emergency calls for fire departments. James says it's about 90-percent of the calls they get.
James tells us the best part of his job is all the friends that he's made in the firefighter community. He says he's got friends throughout the state, whether it was playing softball with other firefighters, waterball, bucket brigade, and things like that. We had to stop him there and have him explain to us what "waterball" is, which you can see in the video (at the top of this page). And it sounds like a LOT of fun. James also explains in the video what "bucket brigade" is, and it just seems like such a fun firefighter activity.
Becca says her favorite part of being a firefighter is helping the community...
Knowing that whenever that tone drops, you can save someone, or help someone.
She also mentions she's enjoys making friends in the firefighting community, as well.
We wrapped up everything by asking James and Becca about misconceptions about firefighters, or things that the general public may not understand or realize. James reminds us all that the volunteer firefighters are out there for free. And when they have to block off a road or your power is out, they're not trying to make things difficult for you, they're doing it for safety. Most people can understand this, but it doesn't stop people from getting upset at them. He also mentions all the holidays, birthdays, and things like that they miss to help out others in their emergency, and it seems like people forget that. Becca is learning this lesson pretty quickly in her firefighting career, too. It's part of what they do. They drop everything to help those in need. But sometimes it takes time to get there, especially if they're not already at the fire station. And they're giving up their free time, but they're doing it because they love to help others, and want to keep the community safe.
For all that both James and Becca do as firefighters and for helping out the community, we're proud to recognize them and feature them for "Firefighter Friday."
If you know of a firefighter that deserves recognition for the job they do, you can nominate them at the link below. They may be featured on an upcoming segment of "Firefighter Friday."