Firefighter Friday: ‘Skip’ Avery of the Hilltop Volunteer Fire Company
Meet this week's featured firefighter, Skip Avery of the Hilltop Volunteer Fire Company. He shares his story with us, including his very traumatic first day on the job.
This week's "Firefighter Friday" took us into Dolgeville to a fire station that really earned its name of "Hill Top." We talked with Skip Avery who has been a firefighter for 44 years, and he's still going strong.
Skip has a unique story when it comes to what got him first interested in being a firefighter. Yes, he has family that is involved in the fire department (like all the other firefighters we've talked to so far), but he was actually approached with the idea while playing softball with a fire department league. In the video (above) he explains the other members of the team talked to him about it and he decided to join.
We also heard about Skip's memorable moments on the job, and things got a little intense. His first day on the job, his first call was a structure fire in which a man burned to death. Something so tragic and heartbreaking, and to see that on your first day on the job?? That's something that could make anyone turn around and quit the job... But not Skip. He was and still is dedicated. He also had some wonderful memories to share from his many, many years with the fire department. You can hear about all the awards and achievements in the video (above).
One thing we didn't think about but seems to be an issue with many firefighters is the hours they put into their jobs (especially when they're volunteers), and the amount of stress it puts on their family. Think about it... It's your significant other's birthday, but you get an emergency call. You would have to leave in the middle of the celebration. If it happened once in a while or on a regular day, it probably wouldn't be so bad. But think about missing holidays, birthdays, special events... everything. And that's not even including all the hours a firefighter needs to put in anyways, being at the fire station, going through drills, taking care of paperwork (if your an assistant chief or chief), or anything else that needs to be taken care of that takes up that valuable time.
Tamara was the one to nominate Skip to be featured on our "Firefighter Friday," and in the video she explains why she nominated him. And she's adorable, so it's great to hear her responses rather than just reading them.
Again, we want to thank Skip for taking the time out of his day to talk to us about his life as a firefighter. We also appreciate him opening up to us about that tragic first day on the job, and we know it wasn't an easy thing to talk about. For all that Skip does for his community, for his family, and as a firefighter, we're proud to feature him this week for "Firefighter Friday."
Do you know of a firefighter in the area that deserves recognition for the job they do and all they do in the community? Are you a firefighter yourself? We would love to hear your stories! Nominate a firefighter to be our next featured firefighter for "Firefighter Friday."