Firefighter Friday: Assistant Chief of the Deerfield Fire Department Jim Griffiths
This week for "Firefighter Friday," we talk to Jim Griffiths who is not only the Assistant Chief of the Deerfield Fire Department, but he's also an EMT and works for Oneida County 911.
Jim has been a firefighter for 17 years, and he's spent all those 17 years at the Deerfield Department. We asked him what first got him interested in firefighting, to which he responded that he's always been interested in it. He went on to say,
My grandfather was one of the original founding members of the department. I always wanted to be in the department, but I didn't know if I was going to stay in the area...
Which is pretty smart if you think about it. Being a firefighter is such a huge commitment, he didn't want to commit to something and then leave them hanging, if he decided to leave. Of course, Jim didn't end up leaving. And after college when he decided to stick around, he also decided to become a firefighter.
Jim also explained to us how he's a firefighter and an EMT for Deerfield. This means that no matter what kind of call it is (whether it's an actual fire, a car accident, or a medical call) he can report to it. On top of that, Jim's regular job is a dispatcher for Oneida County 911, which means when someone calls in an emergency, he sends out for the fire department, the police, or whoever is needed. Naomi Lynn asked him if he has ever been working his dispatch job and had to send himself out for a call. He responded,
I've actually had a couple of those, they just come in at the end of my shift... They've come in and I'm on my way home, and I'll go to a call.
Kind of crazy to think about, that the dispatcher who took your emergency call could show up to handle the call as well. It's obvious that Jim is dedicated to helping others in any way that he can.
We also asked Jim what the best part of his job is and he said "just giving back." Which we should have figured out, again, considering all the rescue-type jobs that he holds. But it's so great to hear someone so dedicated and committed to helping others, to rescuing those in need, and just being available in case of a crisis.
On the flip side of that, we had to find out what the hardest part of Jim's jobs are. He explained to us that when they go on a call, they're going to do their best to help the situation whether it's to revive someone, put out a fire, comfort those after an incident, or whatnot. He says, sometimes they get to a call and they know there's nothing they can do...
...to go from a fire where a person is losing everything they've got, to a family member that no matter what we do, we can't bring them back...
We can't even begin to imagine how difficult those situations would be, not only to be in, but to be there trying to help in those times. For that, and for all that Jim does as an assistant chief, an EMT, a dispatcher for Oneida County 911, and he's an animal control officer for Deerfield and Marcy, we're proud to recognize and feature Jim Griffiths for this week's "Firefighter Friday."
If you know of a firefighter that deserves recognition for the job they do, you can nominate them to be featured on an upcoming "Firefighter Friday." Just fill out the form at the link below: