For this week's "Firefighter Friday," we talk to a young interior firefighter, Nicolas Conti of the Whitesboro Fire Department.

Nick is only 21-years-old, but he's proven himself to be a dedicated firefighter, and risking his life to help others. He's an interior firefighter, which means he actually goes into the burning buildings to help get people out and to battle the flames.

Nick has a very unique story for when it comes to what first got him interested in firefighting. Almost all of the firefighters we've talked to have gotten involved in firefighting because a member of their family is, whether it's a brother, father or mother, or even a cousin. But that's not the case with Nick. In the video (at the top of this page), he explains he was in a criminal justice class in high school and they did a firefighter unit...

...I thought it was the coolest thing ever. I wanted to try it, and I was recommended, and then I joined.

Now, we mentioned earlier that Nick is an interior firefighter. We had to ask if he ever gets scared before going into a building or home, to which he replied, "It's very nerve-racking when you see it." Things do get calmer when he actually gets out of the fire engine though, and that's when the instincts kick in. He knows what he's expected to do, and he knows what he has to do.

As for if there was ever a time he wasn't sure he would get out of a building, he says from time to time there is a "what if" that will go through his head. But he's confident in all the training that he's been given (and continues to take), that he's well prepared for almost any situation.

Nick tells us about his most memorable moment as a firefighter so far, and that happens to be the first fire he went to as an interior firefighter. Hear his account of his first fire and how he was feeling going into it, in the video (above). We would write it out, but seriously... It just sounds so much better coming from him.

We asked Nick if he thinks his age plays into his ability as a firefighter, whether people may think he's young so he doesn't know as much, or the other end of that scale, because he's young he can go into the burning buildings and he's able to do more. He said he definitely thinks it's a positive.

Some of the chiefs tells us that we are the future. That's why they train us and teach us everything we have to know.

We wrapped things up by asking Nick if he thought there was any misconceptions about firefighters that he wanted to address. He told us that volunteer firefighters are just as valuable as paid firefighters. Some people don't see it that way because they're not paid, but "honestly, it takes guts to voluntarily go into a burning building and save lives." We definitely agree with Nick on that. All firefighters, whether they're volunteers or paid, do our communities a great service and we're definitely thankful for that.

For all that Nick does as a young interior firefighter, for his passion and dedication to serving the community, we're proud to recognize him and feature him for this week's "Firefighter Friday."


And if you know of a firefighter that you think deserves recognition for the job they do, you can nominate them to be featured on "Firefighter Friday" at the link below.




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