Wednesday, December 17, 2008

3 Years Ago Today, I Was A Firefighter

How life can change so quickly.

Three years ago today, I graduated from the Westchester Career Firefighters Academy Class 03-05, my certificate of completion was presented to me by the Commisioner Of The Department Of Emergency Services, Anthony Sutton. I was proud and humbled to recieve the "Instructors Award" for my enthusiasm and spirit. Most importantly, I had finally acheived the dream of becoming a Hartsdale Firefighter. My goal was to become a firefighter, learn, and slowly work my way up the ranks, like most new probies do.

For the first year, things were exciting. I was learning a ton, salary was great for someone my age, I was going to be getting married, had our first apartment that we owned. I remember my first time driving Engine 170, my first time operating TL-15. Everything was going great until January 27, 2007, when everything changed forever when I was severly injured on department property due to construction negligence.

Although I physically and emotionally suffered tremendously during the time, I fought to recover as quickly as possible to get back on the job.But no matter what I did, obstacles were purposely thrown in my way. Many of you know the story, and I have it well documented for further publication, so I won't get into it here. After all the stuff my family and I were put through, I put it in perspective now.

While the same old Hartsdale dictator, politics and people continue to rule the department with greed and corupption because that's all they have in their lives, I look at my "new" life here in Texas. I have a wife whom I love, two new puppies, a new house, a great job, and I live in an awesome city. My lifestyle down here I definetly wouldn't be able to afford up north. I wouldn't go back to Hartsdale FD if someone was to pay me a million dollars. I feel sorry for the younger guys who have to work in that retirment home. I pray each day for their safety and well being, and hope their climbing the ranks will actually change Hartsdale. Time shall tell wheter they are corrupted and beaten down by the "elders" when they reach that point.

Unlike working at Hartsdale, I actually EARN my living, and make an impact in peoples lives each day. I don't sit around all day, months sometimes, waiting for "the next big one", if there is even one. Because, for me, "the next one" is always there after you clear the ED. I can go home and say that person is alive because of my partner and I. Not once did I say that while working for Hartsdale.

Maybe Hartsdale wasn't the place for me in the grand scheme of things. But I deserved and earned that job, and it was taken unfairly from me, and no one is held accountable for it. They even made it so I could not transfer to another department. They lost a TON of talent when they lost me. That still, and always will, irk me.