Firefighter Friday: Assistant Fire Chief of the Stittville Fire Department
This week we're proud to recognize Bill Sutherland for all he does as a firefighter and feature him for "Firefighter Friday."
Lindsay Sutherland nominated her dad to be featured for "Firefighter Friday," and had some very kind words to share with us. In the nomination she wrote,
He has a passion for firefighting and teaching others. My dad is the one who inspired me to become a firefighter...
That's right, Lindsay is a firefighter as well. Actually, a lot of their family is. And a lot of them all work in the same place: The Stittville Fire Department...
But we'll get back to that in a moment.
We were lucky enough to sit down with Bill and ask him about his work as a firefighter. We talked about what made him want to get into firefighting in the first place, and like everyone we've talked to so far for "Firefighter Friday," it runs in the family (which is pretty obvious in this case). His father was a member and his uncle is a member of the Stittville Fire Department.
Bill talks about one of the most memorable moments he had (although being a firefighter, you know they have a lot of those moments). He tells us what a "Code Save" was and at first, it sounded like this was going to be a tragic moment, but he explains that a life had actually been saved. Watch the video (at the top of this page) to hear Bill tell the story... He does a MUCH better job at it (compared to just reading about it).
He mentions his favorite part of the job which is teaching and training the new and upcoming firefighters. Bill admits that it can be challenging, but he takes pride in teaching the new members and getting them ready for what to expect when there really is an emergency.
We asked Bill what's something he wish people understood about firefighters and their jobs. He says,
Sometimes I don't think the general public understands what goes into it. They kind of take it for granted when they have an emergency of whatever type, that we're just going to be there. They don't understand the training end of it, the whole aspect of what goes into what we have to do prior to their emergency and helping them out...
Being a volunteer firefighter means they drop what they're doing to help when a call comes in. They're not waiting at the fire station, they're at home with their families, working their other jobs, or celebrating a daughter's birthday party (which happened to Bill and Lindsay). And they have to leave to help those in need. That's something a lot of us don't think about, and can definitely take for granted from time to time.
...And now we're back to the story of Bill and his daughter Lindsay both being firefighters... Oh and Lindsay's mom is a firefighter too. So is her brother. They really are a family of firefighters. We asked if that made them closer as a family or if it caused them to fight more (from being together all the time). It seems like it was a little of both. Lindsay says when they're on "the fire ground" he's not dad anymore, he's chief. Then Bill mentioned something we never thought of in this situation. He says it's kind of "awkward" because you're sending in one of your kids (or other family members) into "who knows what."
Can you imagine that? Sending your child or your spouse into the face of danger, because you have to make that decision??
Bill Sutherland, for all that you do in the community, as your job as a volunteer firefighter, and for being such an inspiration for others to become firefighters, we're proud to recognize you, and feature you for this week's "Firefighter Friday." Thank you again!
If you know of a firefighter that you think deserves recognition for all that they do, you can nominate them. They may just be our next featured firefighter for "Firefighter Friday."