Soldiers serve as volunteer fire fighters
June 14, 2012
FORT STEWART, Ga. - Soldiers from 2nd "Spartan" Brigade Combat Team, Third Infantry Division, recently gave up valuable personal time to give back to the community by serving as local volunteer Fire Fighters and First Responders.
To become volunteer Fire Fighters, the Soldiers sacrificed much of their personal time, as training is on a weekly basis. To become certified the Soldiers are required to receive certifications as First Responders, Registered Volunteer Fire Fighters, ventilation, vehicle extractions, fire extinguishers, and Fire Fighter personal protective equipment, according to Sgt. 1st Class Mark DeJesus, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 2BCT, and Gum Branch Fire Department volunteer Fire Fighter.
"Training to become a Fire Fighter is just like training in the military; you take small tasks step by step and build upon them until you can put them all together," Sgt. First Class DeJesus said. "But really the biggest benefit for the Soldiers involved as volunteer Fire Fighters is the connection with the community."
According to Sgt. First Class Dejesus, it is important for Soldiers to serve as volunteer Fire Fighters because it allows local communities to see the Soldiers as community members as well.
"This is a great opportunity for the community to see the human side of the military, which also strengthens the relationship with the community and the brigades," said Sgt. First Class DeJesus.
Much like Sgt. First Class DeJesus, Pfc. Jad Breshears, 1st Battalion, 64th Armor, 2BCT, was drawn to serving as a volunteer Fire Fighter because of the community relationship the position provides.
"I just love being a volunteer Fire Fighter, it is such a great opportunity to help people," Pfc. Breshears said, a seven-year volunteer Fire Fighter.
According to Pfc. Breshears, serving as a Fire Fighter has a direct correlation to serving in the military.
"Entering a house to clear a fire is all about team work and communication all while dealing with the stress of the situation, the same kind of skills needed in combat as a Soldier," Pfc. Breshears said.
Sergeant First Class DeJesus said the skill sets learned from serving as a volunteer Fire Fighter also benefits 3rd ID units as well.
"Every unit has to have Soldiers serve as unit Fire Marshals, and there is no better ones to have in that position now then actually trained Fire Fighters. So it is definitely beneficial to the community and 3rd [Infantry Division]," Sgt. First Class DeJesus said.