Turning chaos into calm.
Between the crackling of the bonfire, way off in the distance of the dark night, we heard screaming.
It was summertime and my family and I were camping at Baker Lake. I had just started my volunteer fire fighter position back home. My cousin, brother and I jumped into our boat and went cruising toward the noise. We discovered an upside-down canoe. Shortly after, we located the three sailors that were in the canoe, spread about the lake.
If you know Baker Lake in Northwest Washington, you know it’s cold. Like, freezing cold. We hoisted the three men into our boat and realized they were all hypothermic from the water temperature. We hurried back to our campsite to bundle them up, put them in front of our fire and get them some much needed rest while they recovered.
As a self-identified shy person, I was rather uncomfortable to hear that someone had ratted us out. Our night of what we thought was simple human response and civility had been told to the American Red Cross and we were nominated for a Real Heroes Award. Ultimately, we were honored to have received that award, one that recognizes Washingtonians for exceptional acts of bravery, quick-thinking, selflessness, and skill.
I bet you’re wondering how I ended up in an IT profession. Don’t worry, I wonder that too sometimes. The truth of the matter is, I couldn’t have received better training for what I do today than being a volunteer EMT/firefighter. I’ve learned how to de-escalate situations and simply become a better communicator. My days are commonly filled with clients calling me in panic because something went wrong. And without my past experiences, I may have panicked too. But instead, I now see it as an opportunity. I get the chance to swiftly turn chaos into calm.
“ The truth of the matter is, I couldn’t have received better training for what I do today than being a volunteer EMT/firefighter. ”