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Firefighting: Finding Your Niche

Kristen Winters

But I didn’t only break items, I also ran my hands on top of each bed, then got on my knees and ran the handle of my axe under each bed.

I was constantly telling my kids to not hide under beds or in closets during a fire. So I took the time to check, which didn’t take long at all. I was finding the dummies and tossing them out into the center of the floor (it was all that was required at that point).

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Then I came to a recliner that was wedged into the corner. Somehow, it was missed. I moved the chair out of the way, and I found one of my instructors, huddled in the fetal position on the ground. Not that it was a contest, but Kristen-3, crewmates-0. I had found my niche.

From then on, we played ‘truck company’ a lot. There was always a joke or two from my crewmates that I would be the one to find the victims.

I would smile, secretly happy that I was good at something.

It was not necessarily the something I would have liked, but I grew to enjoy it. It made me feel good to run into the tower, and come out with a ‘victim’ almost 100% of the time.

It made me feel even better that I had a skill that was recognized by my brothers.

Vanity, I suppose. Pride, most definitely.


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