This week's featured firefighter is Randy Caldwell of the Maynard Fire Department in Marcy. He tells us what got him into firefighting in the first place and how things have changed in the fire service over the years.

Randy has been with the fire department for 34 years, and has a very unique story for what got him first interested in firefighting. He's the first firefighter we talked to (so far) that didn't have family members involved. Randy says he always wanted to give back to the community and a friend of his peaked his interest about the firefighting service.

When Randy got his start at the fire department, things were different. A lot has changed over the years of how people become firefighters. Back when his friend put in a recommendation, he was put on a waiting list. You actually had to wait for someone to retire or leave before there would be room for you at the fire department. Although that's not the case anymore, Randy says the Maynard Fire Department is pretty well staffed. He also explains the differences in training from then to now. You can hear about it in the video (at the top of this page).

In the video, Randy also explains the "brotherhood," the closeness that firefighters share. It's something that can't be fully explained unless you live in that world, if you are a firefighter. There's a closeness that comes when you're relying on someone else in an emergency... When someone else has your life in their hands.

We also asked Randy what he thought was the best part of being a firefighter and being in the firefighting community. He says,

Well, the best part for me is just being able to give back... I enjoy the physical part of it, too. That's kind of what I do in my spare time...

And if you can couple that with some experience and giving back, I think it's really rewarding.

Of course, we had to ask him what the hardest part of his job is, right after. He explains to us how demanding it can be and all the training that happens on a regular basis. He also talks about the stress it can have on a family.

Randy also told us about what he does in his free time (the very little bit he or any volunteer firefighter has), and you can see that in the video above.

We wrapped up our questions with a very important one... We asked Randy what advice he would give to someone considering joining the fire service. He says they should go into it with an open mind, but also realize that volunteering in itself is a great thing. And it's not just the emergency calls, it's everything else that they do in the community from fire prevention to hosting Halloween parties. It's everything.

Randy for everything you do as a firefighter, everything you do in the community, and for being so passionate and modest about it, we're proud to recognize you and feature this week for "Firefighter Friday."

If you know of a firefighter you think deserves recognition for the job they do, you can nominate them to be featured on an upcoming "Firefighter Friday."





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