Comments: 1154 • Responses: 109 • Date: 2022-09-05 20:08:36 UTCsource
Gruddles993 karma2022-09-05 20:13:11 UTC
You’re a very impressive youth. Good job on helping the community.
What is your favorite part of what you do and what inspired you to get into it?
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GOOD_JOB_SON1609 karma2022-09-05 20:34:08 UTC
Did you also read this as "13 year old professional firefighter?"
Gruddles844 karma2022-09-05 20:35:11 UTC
Omg, I just reread it 💀
Lmao, yes. I was like “damn, this kid is exceptional.”
GOOD_JOB_SON112 karma2022-09-05 20:37:00 UTC
Yeah, I misread it too, then he said "fell into this role in the military" I kept thinking "this can't be real." Then I re-read the title properly, lol.
Falco19156 karma2022-09-05 21:41:39 UTC
I did the same! I was like, wait, how can he drive??
EnderHeeler245 karma2022-09-05 22:28:34 UTC
Phone books, fake mustache
EnderHeeler77 karma2022-09-05 22:28:11 UTC
Wait, you’re not into a professional career the minute a pube appeared…
EnderHeeler138 karma2022-09-05 20:17:48 UTC
I accidentally fell into this role in the military and didn’t really fall in love with it. At that place we did very little due to everything being so fire safe on the base, also had a small and healthy base population so little calls there, and surrounding area wasn’t very populated.
After that I ended up getting involved with a smaller city but a much higher call volume. My favorite part is fighting fire (big adrenaline rush).
Thank you for your question and praise. I hope you have a great day.
RUA_bug_Bill_Murray494 karma2022-09-05 20:36:36 UTC
What movie/TV series depict your profession the most right, and which ones do it the worst?
EnderHeeler818 karma2022-09-05 20:45:43 UTC
I love this question since my partner can’t wait any medical or fire shows with me without making snide comments. So I ensure to walk out of the room so they can enjoy it. The only good ones…
Tacoma FD because they concentrate mostly on station life and it’s pretty accurate with that
Rescue Me in parts because it’s just so funny but wildly inaccurate for most of it
Backdraft just to retain horrible movie quotes and see things that would kill you in a second (fighting fire in a chemical factory with no SCBA)
And if you want to see what the job is like for firefighting and battling horrible city management then watch the documentary Burn
Also, check our Stockton fire YouTube page. They absolutely do it best to show what it’s like in a fire. Lots of helmet cam footage from there emergencies.
netopiax103 karma2022-09-05 20:53:47 UTC
You might have accidentally said what city you're from at the end there unless I'm misunderstanding. Thanks for the AMA I don't really have a question but I know I'll enjoy reading it
EnderHeeler190 karma2022-09-05 20:57:38 UTC
I’m not from Stockton or Detroit. I hope I didn’t do anything like that but thank you for looking out for me.
netopiax123 karma2022-09-05 20:59:17 UTC
I realized after I commented, you probably meant "check out Stockton" but it says "our". That's why i thought maybe it was your dept. Nevermind!
EnderHeeler132 karma2022-09-05 21:13:29 UTC
Ohhh good catch. Yes I meant out. I wish I could claim I was with them. They are absolutely some of the best out there.
gazongagizmo81 karma2022-09-05 22:51:24 UTC
have you seen Only the Brave (2017), directed by Jo Kosinski (the dude who did Top Gun Maverick and Tron Legacy)?
it's not about firemen who run into burning buildings though, but who fight/controlburn wildfires.
great film, the fire photography/cinematography is the most spectacular i've seen in any film.
EnderHeeler61 karma2022-09-05 23:14:54 UTC
I have not yet. But… maybe I’ll look at it. I struggle seeing anything with FFing due to Hollywood making it inaccurate. I get it though, appease 100k FFs or millions of non-ffs.
Disintergr8tion19 karma2022-09-05 22:33:59 UTC
What about Bringing out the Dead?
EnderHeeler9 karma2022-09-05 22:36:21 UTC
I’ll check that one out.
GOLTRON433 karma2022-09-05 21:45:11 UTC
Do you guys sharpen your own axes or do you guys send them away to be sharpened?
Also, do you guys actually cook crazy good dinners like everyone says you do?
EnderHeeler642 karma2022-09-05 21:49:28 UTC
We sharpen our own and paint the heads of them. We care for all tools in house except for new extrication spreads, cutters, ram. But, I’m sure some will go out to the manufacturer course soon to be trained in that.
Depends on the shift. It was just burgers/fries tonight but last week on shift was fillets, corn on the cob, southwestern salad, and a potato/ham soup. Not all dinners are great and not all bad. But, most FFs can cook well.
EternalGandhi178 karma2022-09-06 00:18:57 UTC
How often do y'all sit down to dig in and then y'all get a call and have to leave it all sitting on the table to get cold? What's the longest a meal has gone uneaten because a call was difficult/crazy?
EnderHeeler375 karma2022-09-06 00:30:45 UTC
8 hour smoked ribs sat for hours one time. It was heart breaking. It happens. The busier the house the more it happens.
Spuddermane101 karma2022-09-06 03:35:59 UTC
I gasped audibly at that. So much time and effort for cold ribs
EnderHeeler102 karma2022-09-06 03:36:44 UTC
It was painful
High_Jumper81360 karma2022-09-05 20:16:34 UTC
How much Narcan do you usually carry, and do you wish MAT clinics were at the hospitals so OD people that want to can enroll directly into treatment?
EnderHeeler337 karma2022-09-05 20:24:31 UTC
We run ALS engines/rescues/ladders and carry 2x 4mg draw up in my BLS bag. My ALS bag has…. Checking……… still checking…. 6-2ML vials with 1mg/ml
And I have never thought of having that at the hospital but would be in total favor of it. Thank you for your question
High_Jumper81108 karma2022-09-05 21:01:27 UTC
You save lives. Would be great if the right modalities could get together and continue the process you folks start by when you save their lives. Edit: and with Fentanyl, hoping all first responders carry twice what they think they need!
EnderHeeler86 karma2022-09-05 21:14:39 UTC
Yes, luckily we have enough on scene where I haven’t ran into an issue of running out before getting to the hospital.
Iactat336 karma2022-09-05 21:57:01 UTC
Can you tell me about a 911 call that was so absurd you had a hard time retaining a professional demeanor?
EnderHeeler825 karma2022-09-05 22:11:15 UTC
Absolutely! I’ve had a few. I’ll give you one in case someone else ask me something similar and I can use another new one.
A call for a woman walking naked down the railroad tracks. It’s middle of the night and I was asleep when the tone dropped. So I thought I misunderstood it. I asked the other guy and he said that’s what he heard too. We get in the ambulance and start heading towards the street. PD rolls as well and we hear that she is being detained. I thought “a bit extreme for what I assume is someone off their meds” I get there and I see a dog tied up to a tree, she’s naked, and a gun is next to her”
The officer, who is actually a very polite one (oh I know the shit ones) was walking up to her and she lowers the rifle at him. He tackled her and luckily the dog didn’t do anything. After cuffing her he finds a large chunk of wood carved into a gun. She stole the dog from some house she walked by. Said she was sent by god to take care of animals and die today. Luckily no one was really hurt and the dog went back to the owner.
IonizedRadiation32280 karma2022-09-05 22:30:05 UTC
Jeez. This had so many opportunities to go horribly wrong
EnderHeeler239 karma2022-09-05 22:31:09 UTC
I was very happy that it didn’t. That would of been tragic.
Senalmoondog327 karma2022-09-05 21:03:56 UTC
Are you a good cook?
Ever been in a calender?
EnderHeeler348 karma2022-09-05 21:15:37 UTC
I think I’m pretty damn good cook. Never been at a station with a calendar hahaha!
assholetoall175 karma2022-09-05 22:40:18 UTC
Sounds like you have a pool of untapped calendar models readily available.
EnderHeeler284 karma2022-09-05 22:41:32 UTC
Too kind but most are shouldn’t be looked at in anything over a 40watt bulb.
ParcelPosted83 karma2022-09-05 22:50:46 UTC
That is the calendar we need! I for one would enjoy it.
EnderHeeler175 karma2022-09-05 23:13:10 UTC
Ohhhb ugly ff calendar. Good news, we got some uglies on shift right now. Getting the camera set up.
Bloofis259 karma2022-09-06 00:05:53 UTC
There's a morbidly obese man lying in bed 20 storeys high. The elevator is busted and the building is on fire. What's the move?
EnderHeeler386 karma2022-09-06 00:18:42 UTC
My training chief would love you. Mega mover (tarp with handles for 6 people and a ton of hustle. Probably use a backboard laying on the stairs to make the stair part easier.
We do have stair chairs with tracks on them but I imagine someone as big as you are thinking wouldn’t fit. Luckily I’ve never had this with the building on fire. I’ve moved many large people down stairs though.
ruproud202 karma2022-09-05 20:59:04 UTC
Would you recommend fire fighting as a career for your kids (if/when you have them)?
What is the typical pay range starting out?
What are some red flag to look for to determine if a particular fire house is not well run?
EnderHeeler333 karma2022-09-05 21:12:38 UTC
I really am not sure yet. It is something I think of often as my kid really looks up to me and thinks my job is pretty neat. But, this job comes with a ton of draw backs. Mentally it really has caused some serious issues.
Do I love this job, more than anything. But, I’m not sure if I wish it on someone else. It’s probably a lot like heroine. Insane rush and fun as hell but will probably kill me… just hopefully not for another 20 years.
Pay range is all over the place. I know guys that made 30k a year running 20 plus calls a shift. I make around 100 but been at this for a bit. Some chiefs make high 100 range.
I would see if you can grab a ride with a dept you are interested in. Firefighters can be some bad gossiper’s. I bet you would hear something. Also, check news to see if they have any serious issues. Some depts make the news in a bad way often. Also, if you like an adrenaline rush, try to work near a big city or big city. Likely to get a lot more calls.
gaytardeddd80 karma2022-09-05 23:09:42 UTC
do they hire people that caught felonies when they were youngsters
EnderHeeler236 karma2022-09-05 23:26:54 UTC
Not in my dept but Cal fire has a program for wildland that have felons work with them and then offer jobs on their release. Pretty cool program
Teppiest128 karma2022-09-05 22:50:40 UTC
I have questions, but they're more about providing greater context for childhood experiences. When my Mother's house burned down one of the Firefighters said 'We'll keep our eyes out for valuables and try to preserve anything we can.'
And the first thing they yeeted out was an Xbox 360. We still have that thing, it still works, but on the shelf above it and arguably more visible were photo albums which I would argue was kind of obviously more sentimental? There were only a couple more items that made it out during the fire but I don't blame them for focusing on the more pressing matter at hand. The fire ended up being put out before it ravaged that specific room too much anyways but I loved the comedic timing while everything else burned.
'Don't worry we'll try to preserve your most valuable possessions!' *Xbox unceremoniously flung.*
The next one is my Grandma was a bit of an alcoholic when I was a kid and I always looked forward to when she would get so drunk that I could call 911 to get her taken away. I started getting the timing just right because on several occasions she was fairly drunk, but not enough to get taken away. So then I'd have to wait a couple hours then try again. I fondly remember when she was taken away for the night because I was able to just finally relax and do homework in peace.
In three different towns it got to the point where if I called 911 sometimes a dispatcher would simply ask, 'Gloria again?' I'd say, 'Yes.' and they'd say 'On the way.' and that was the entire dialogue. In retrospect I feel kind of weird realizing that I was a literal child and it never warranted a CPS visit. Were they supposed to get involved at any point?
One time I remember hearing two EMT's argue between each other, 'Well we don't really have any reason to take her with us.' and the other one said, 'I know this woman. If we don't do it now we'll be back in another hour. And we have more important shit to do.' So they did.
Is that situation fairly common? Do you normally get regulars like that, I assume in a city that I couldn't have been the only kid dealing with that, but I am curious about your perspective. If you can offer stories or anecdotes to similar situations I'd LOVE to read about it. Get your perspective on situations like that.
Also what happened to her when she was taken away? Normally she'd be back by 7AM or so pounding on the door screaming about how mad she was at me. But sometimes she'd be back within an hour (Which REALLY sucked.) But the few times I asked her 'Where did you go?' she'd just cuss me out or invent some story about being in prison with all the criminals and 'How dare you tell the entire town I'm nothing but a drunk!' So I never really learned what the other side of that looks like.
Thanks a lot for answering these questions. Growing up in an abusive household without any friends I have nothing but fond memories of the EMT's that came by. They regularly would pull me into another room, ask about my day, school, friends, games I enjoyed. And as a kid I loved having someone who would talk to me and listen. Show interest. Even back then I knew that they were just distracting me but it didn't matter because someone was talking to me nicely.
EnderHeeler172 karma2022-09-05 23:12:19 UTC
Sounds like a gamer put out your house fire. We do grab valuables and try to preserve things. Photo albums/pictures are absolutely a priority to me but I wasn’t there so I do not know if they just didn’t see it. Smoke filled rooms are hard to see even your hand in front of your face.
Regular people we transport are called frequent flyers. It’s absolutely a thing. They are never taken to jail. We take them to the hospital and they get released from there.
I am extremely happy that you have good memories of those emts/ffs but I wish you had a cps visit.
rondonjon113 karma2022-09-05 20:53:32 UTC
What do you think about the thin red line flag and people trying to make the fire department a political talking point? I understand the blue line flag, but I’ve never known anyone that didn’t support or appreciate the fire department.
EnderHeeler318 karma2022-09-05 20:56:26 UTC
You guys have some awesome questions! I absolutely can’t stand it and think it has no place on our stuff. The only guys I’ve seen it with are some of the laziest guys who have no love for the brotherhood and all about themselves.
We are absolutely not hated by the vast amount of public we serve and need to keep it that way. Stop pretending we have mobs out for us.
sheriff436108 karma2022-09-05 21:18:49 UTC
With “fire season” in full swing out west, how do you handle being possibly being sent out on a strike team on a moments notice? How does that affect personal life?
EnderHeeler130 karma2022-09-05 21:28:52 UTC
I am not currently on a team. It has been talked about to start here. I wouldn’t mind as long as it isn’t for months at a time. The thought of leaving the family hurts but I’m sure it would pay well.
huh_phd91 karma2022-09-05 21:30:26 UTC
Do you have a really uplifting experience to share? I bet you've seen a lot of shit, but out of everything what makes you smile?
EnderHeeler285 karma2022-09-05 21:41:41 UTC
I’ve gotten a few “saves” meaning they were dead or within moments of dying, and recover enough to leave the hospital. Those are nice. Saved a few animals and I am a huge dog person, but still really like all animals. I’ve helped lots of people with their issues and live in the same community that I serve, so I sometimes get to see them out and enjoying life afterwards, which is nice. It’s also great that they don’t recognize me outside of uniform, so I don’t get praised. I really just get uncomfortable with it and don’t know what to say.
DalaiLamaHimself24 karma2022-09-06 06:08:54 UTC
You are probably done for the night, but I think many pet owners, especially cat owners find their cats are completely freaked out by the noise from a smoke detector and hide and we all know we will die in the fire trying to find them in the house. Do you know of any smoke detectors that will wake you up but are more pet friendly? Also, where do you find cats if you have rescued them in the house? Thank you!
EnderHeeler45 karma2022-09-06 10:03:05 UTC
I think the other response is fantastic. Cats if they want to be found are almost impossible to find. I look under the bed, top of closet spaces, behind couch, under couch. I really will tear a place up trying to find a missing pet. It really breaks my heart when they die. I’m a animal person.
colinhd2781 karma2022-09-05 22:14:40 UTC
I have a friend who is in recovery. She made alot of 911 calls for people OD'ing. At the time she said she wouldn't tell the operator that it was an OD, just a medical emergency because they might not show up at all. This was 5 years ago, have you encountered this? Is this something that happens?
EnderHeeler160 karma2022-09-05 22:21:51 UTC
I have never heard of this for responders to not show up. We are obviously not perfect and I hope that anyone not showing up on a call loses their job and legal action taken against them.
tendieful6 karma2022-09-06 10:22:32 UTC
Wouldn’t some areas prioritize calls? I imagine OD would be lower than a domestic or violent situation involving multiple parties.
EnderHeeler9 karma2022-09-06 10:34:11 UTC
Yes calls are prioritized through dispatch
Fine_Gur_176469 karma2022-09-05 20:53:59 UTC
It's a grim question, I realise, but what's the toughest/roughest thing you've seen on the job so far? And what's the support like for you guys when you experience something like that?
EnderHeeler243 karma2022-09-05 21:04:57 UTC
Oh wow, I’ve had a decent share but probably no worse than most that actually do the job. I think kids dying have been the worst (ran over, SIDS, etc)
Outside of that I’ve seen a few suicides that really didn’t work their intended way. They were still very much alive, will certainly die no matter what we or anyone else does, but it took days for a few of them.
I am a very big supporter of assisted suicide. They probably didn’t deserve to die like that.
As far as support… I, nor anyone at my station, had support for 10 years of dealing with tragic stuff way too often. I even approached management saying we were going to have someone off themself if we didn’t get help. Nothing ever came of it and surprisingly no one in that station killed themself but I’ve know 3 FFs who have.
Luckily I’m at a station now with great mental help and resources. We even train our own guys for grief consoling and go out to other depts when they have a bad call, line of duty death, or potential for suicide.
BuildingAMasterpiece96 karma2022-09-05 21:33:37 UTC
Just for free resources if your old station needs something, check out the Code Green Campaign. It's all about first responder mental health.
EnderHeeler78 karma2022-09-05 21:42:08 UTC
I will pass that one to them now. Thank you
randomthrowaway91836 karma2022-09-06 00:44:46 UTC
I had a roomate that committed suicide in my garage. He used my skillsaw to try to cut his own head off. The suicide was actually a lot more complicated than just the act. The firefighter looked very shook up when I was asking him questions about it and to send me to a hospital. I would imagine consoling people left behind is a lot harder than most of the physical events.
I still feel bad for that guy, he lived around the corner from me before I sold my house. He looked like he saw a ghost when he saw me walking my dog about a month later. I didn’t put two and two together until I saw a firefighter sticker on his truck and was able to place his face.
EnderHeeler25 karma2022-09-06 00:47:16 UTC
Ya that one would probably stick with someone for awhile. I’m sorry you went through that. That’s a tough one.
may_flowers26 karma2022-09-06 02:13:39 UTC
Yeah, my uncle is a retired firefighter who never sought mental health services and he is seriously messed up - just massive trauma from what he’s seen. About a year ago he decided to get help and it made a huge difference!
EnderHeeler17 karma2022-09-06 02:52:35 UTC
I hope he continues to do great
Voyagerparadise64 karma2022-09-05 22:42:08 UTC
I live in a mid-size town with a major opiate issue. I've known a few EMT and police that have reckoned they work between 150-200 OD/Suicide related calls a week. I have had my fair share of experiences with ODs, know the signs and what to look out for. To the point where I carry narcan in my bag and car.
I was entering a store the other afternoon, saw a guy slumped over in his truck. Kept an eye out for it on my way out a few minutes later. Still slumped, breathing heavily, cell phone in hand. I tried honking my horn near his car with no response (I didn't feel comfortable approaching his vehicle). I decided to call for a possible OD to be on the safe side. I parked a ways down from his vehicle to keep an eye out for responders. Fire rolls up, I point them to the vehicle and get back in my truck. They honked their horn directly in front of his vehicle - no response. When they opened his door (I'm assuming they called out to him first), he woke in a start, seemed agitated and drove off almost immediately.
In your position would this be a kind of call that annoyed you? Someone possibly just taking a nap that someone made a misjudged call about?
EnderHeeler86 karma2022-09-05 22:46:22 UTC
I am not annoyed by it at all but I don’t know what this crew has been dealing with. I always remove the keys from the car before narcaning a person in the drivers seat. I don’t want to Monday morning quarter back that call anymore than I have.
ac108462 karma2022-09-05 21:13:41 UTC
Got any good chili recipes?
EnderHeeler130 karma2022-09-05 21:17:51 UTC
I wish I could say yes and share… but, no. Love to cook but just not a chili guy. We do have something called by “must go” when we have a ton of food that’ll go bad soon we throw it all in a pot. It’s sometimes great lol
cleancutmover55 karma2022-09-05 21:16:53 UTC
What should this country be doing about the opiate problem?
EnderHeeler243 karma2022-09-05 21:27:50 UTC
Less money towards prosecutions and more towards treatment facility.
IShouldBeSoLucky8139 karma2022-09-05 22:38:46 UTC
I'm not in the US but as someone who spends their summers doing welfare at music festivals and has previously worked as an addiction worker I really appreciate your attitude towards drug users and drugs treatment. Best wishes from Scotland.
Is the narcan there the nasal spray? We only have generic naxolone but it's a intra muscular injection. Thankfully it's easy to get for free here but I wish more people carried it.
EnderHeeler22 karma2022-09-05 22:40:39 UTC
We have it in draw up but also I’ve used the nasal sprays.
lober54 karma2022-09-05 20:23:26 UTC
My friend had an unhinged brother growing up. His brother tortured animals and beat people near to death a lot. He once jammed his fingers in some kids eyes because he threw rocks at his truck. This guy is now a firefighter and my friend told me new stories like how his brother beats the piss out of bums. Another would be his brother was stoked for a fire call finally. When he learned it was just a smoking ac unit, he smashed it to pieces and the supervisor had to tell the family they had to do it to put the fire out.
I just wonder, is it common to have psychos on the job and is it covered up consistently like my friend’s brother?
EnderHeeler88 karma2022-09-05 20:27:05 UTC
I have never seen or heard of anything like that at the departments I’ve been with. It would of been an immediate dismissal. I imagine this is a small rural department. Maybe a bit easier to hide there. I have worked with some people that I don’t care for and don’t think they are the most caring individuals but nothing even close to that. I’m sorry that he made it far enough to actually take care of another person or their property.
lober30 karma2022-09-05 20:30:04 UTC
Good to hear. I was shocked hearing the stories and the fact he is still currently a fire fighter.
Big city though, Phoenix.
EnderHeeler90 karma2022-09-05 20:32:21 UTC
That is crazy that he is there and still employed. I would report it to city council and fire chief mike Duran. Copy them both in email and I’m sure it’ll be addressed and hopefully end with termination.
CSgirl947 karma2022-09-05 22:30:33 UTC
Best advice for fire safety in the home that people don't usually think of?
EnderHeeler149 karma2022-09-05 22:35:10 UTC
At least one 10+ lb ABC extinguisher in your kitchen. Working smoke detector in each bedroom and kitchen (more the better).
Sleep with your door closed. It can save you. Check out images online.
Escape ladder if you have a second story. They sell collapsible ones that you can store inside the room and deploy when needed.
Bendzo44 karma2022-09-05 23:43:05 UTC
Why do you think localities continue to privatize EMS paying them like shit, while the general public glorifies FFs, when 90% of 911 calls that aren’t LEO related are medical? And less than 1% are actual fires…
EnderHeeler52 karma2022-09-05 23:50:02 UTC
I wish I had that answer. I won’t pretend it’s fair
markduan42 karma2022-09-05 21:39:58 UTC
That's amazing! Your parents must be super proud. How do you juggle your work as a fireman with school?
EnderHeeler50 karma2022-09-05 21:43:14 UTC
I took a break from it when I got out the military. I am about to enroll and take my medic courses. I’ll just embrace the suck of it all.
zillabunny42 karma2022-09-05 22:49:35 UTC
What is the number one thing you're sick of seeing and what do you think could fix it?
EnderHeeler129 karma2022-09-05 23:07:08 UTC
Poor living conditions with kids in the house. If it’s bad enough that we should make the call to child services, then of course we will. But there is a lot of “that’s not right” before they will do anything.
Fix it with providing better education… that thing that our country won’t do anytime soon. I think a lot of it stems from poorly educated people.
sumandark860037 karma2022-09-05 21:57:39 UTC
Misread that at first. Thought you were 13 years old. I was like: "Where the fuck does this person live?!"
EnderHeeler24 karma2022-09-05 22:11:35 UTC
Ya…. I messed that one up
Comprehensive_Pace7537 karma2022-09-05 23:35:04 UTC
Do the cats really eat the dead bodies?
EnderHeeler53 karma2022-09-05 23:41:56 UTC
DistortedImagining36 karma2022-09-06 00:13:37 UTC
Sorry if this is a little invasive, but I hear a lot about PTSD in first responders. I was wondering if many of the situations you deal with on a daily basis are traumatic for you and your coworkers. If so, how do you deal with it?
EnderHeeler54 karma2022-09-06 00:29:32 UTC
Many have some form of it. Where I was at for many years it was suck it up, don’t talk about it, deal with it. I’m at a much more progressive place now and we have many things in place to help out with it.
All_Usernames_Tooken32 karma2022-09-05 23:48:55 UTC
When dealing with some patients, do you find yourself recognizing some of them? Like “no, not Larry again” and some day you stop seeing Larry or your the last person to see him.
EnderHeeler93 karma2022-09-06 00:01:27 UTC
One of my saddest calls was realizing I knew the patient from previous calls. I was always there for her mother. The child of mom was a special needs woman would loved playing drums. I play the drums so we always talk about that. Growing up with a special needs sister always makes me feel very connected to those people. One day she died and I tried my best. Her family arrived while I was there. I am not ashamed to say I cried a lot that night.
DarkFlame030 karma2022-09-05 21:55:43 UTC
What made you join this stressful profession? Have you ever been discouraged while on the job? How do you keep your mental health in check?
EnderHeeler134 karma2022-09-05 22:04:38 UTC
I did it initially in the military and didn’t really care for it. Very very low call volume. Ended up doing it in the city and fell in love with it. Really enjoyed helping people and feeling like what I did was fulfilling.
I’ve been very discouraged on the job. I’ve had severe issues with depression/anxiety/panic attacks. I was just on a string of dead people all the time, plus issues with my SO. Also, my best friend recently killed himself so that wasn’t great… I did it absolutely the wrong way. Didn’t get any help, kept my head down and went on. I am now trying to get on a grief consoling team and working with treatment for PTSD.
DarkFlame033 karma2022-09-05 22:25:31 UTC
Wow and you still get up everyday to help other amazing. Hopefully you feel better after your therapy session.
EnderHeeler66 karma2022-09-05 22:26:31 UTC
The severity of those issues were awhile ago. I am much better now but still am reaching out for therapy.
ParcelPosted29 karma2022-09-05 22:58:48 UTC
The TV show 911 depicts a close relationship between the police, firemen and 911 operators. I know it’s for TV but is there a lot of intersection with the 3? Are there friends you make due to working scenes together a lot?
EnderHeeler51 karma2022-09-05 23:23:03 UTC
I do not have any close relation ships with them. I’m sure most our great enough people but it just isn’t that way where I am. Maybe somewhere it’s like that. With cops and FFs. Not sure how they would meet 911 operators though. It’s not like they are on scene with us.
WafflingToast28 karma2022-09-05 22:43:19 UTC
I occasionally have input into fire house designs. Any particular insights? Nice to have ____ , not enough room for _____ , or don't bother with ____?
EnderHeeler40 karma2022-09-05 22:56:39 UTC
Nice to have sauna, soft alarm system, big kitchen
Not enough room in two person bunks
Can’t think of a don’t bother feature
FatherofKhorne26 karma2022-09-05 22:13:03 UTC
Got any tips for someone entering the medical first responder field in a month? (In the UK, clinical training starts soon).
EnderHeeler72 karma2022-09-05 22:19:39 UTC
I would look to see what book you’ll be using, see if you cant find study guides for it. If you run under protocols then learn them. Try to keep your compassion in this field. It seems to be lost on some.
HuckleberryLou37 karma2022-09-05 23:25:18 UTC
I work in the medical field and see this as well. I understand why people lose compassion - you have to have some thick skin to cope with what you see each day- but responders must keep their humanity. Everyone you meet is probably having the worst day of their whole life. What a huge responsibility but what an honor to be the person that shows up to help in that exceptionally vulnerable moment. Thank you for bearing that burden and all you do
EnderHeeler41 karma2022-09-05 23:38:29 UTC
It goes in waves. I am more of a happy person in general so it helps. But there have been long periods where it was difficult to even care for myself. I’m sure that’ll happen again and I plan on getting help this time around.
Dispatcher1225 karma2022-09-05 21:52:52 UTC
What's your feeling about carrying Narcan? I've been thinking about getting some to put in my own First Aid Kit. I'm a former EMT and present 911 dispatcher in an area with its own OD issues.
EnderHeeler48 karma2022-09-05 21:59:58 UTC
That is great. I think you would be protected under the Good Samaritan law. I would look into that. Make sure you carry a bvm or mask with one way valve. Just giving it to them will not always allow them to have proper respirations.
flekkzo20 karma2022-09-05 21:47:29 UTC
What single change in society (ban, attitude change, law, un-law, PSAs, your choice) do you think would lower the amount of calls you get?
EnderHeeler68 karma2022-09-05 21:53:55 UTC
I think more relaxed approach on drugs and much more emphasis on drug education and treatment would greatly reduce our call volume. Its not all ODing but we get calls due to their living conditions, lack of health care, malnutrition… they live in dire conditions and maybe if they were brought up in a society that didn’t lie to them it could of been different. Shocking that “just say no” and “refer madness” didn’t work…/s
flekkzo5 karma2022-09-05 22:00:54 UTC
Think the drugs cause or follow the issues?
(The anti drug stuff somehow worked on me, growing up mainly in the 80s Scandinavia. Never done any recreational drugs and never drank much and don’t at all now. So I’m always curious to hear from people with experience rather than people with opinions.)
EnderHeeler16 karma2022-09-05 22:14:41 UTC
I think they cause a lot of the issues when it runs your life.
purpleskies12519 karma2022-09-05 22:16:01 UTC
what do you feel is the best thing we can do to support those afflicted with addiction? is it safe using centers? housing programs that actually work? voluntary or forced rehab? anything else? i’d love to know as someone who’s seeing it firsthand
EnderHeeler51 karma2022-09-05 22:25:37 UTC
More emphasis on rehab and education. I am not educated enough to speak on the housing centers but I am onboard with needle exchange and safe use centers.
Forced rehab sounds like it wouldn’t work but I am often wrong. I just know this just say no and awful anti drug propaganda didn’t work for the US. Better education and money spent on rehab rather than prosecution seems like it would work.
unemotional_wreck18 karma2022-09-05 22:55:38 UTC
What defibrillator model do you run or do you just have AEDs on your truck?
EnderHeeler19 karma2022-09-05 23:17:23 UTC
Lifepak on engine, physio control aed on ladder and rescue
CdnPoster17 karma2022-09-06 00:07:15 UTC
Do the various firefighters take turns driving the rig or is it one person's specific duty?
In these of specific duties, how often do they change - every week/month, etc?
EnderHeeler21 karma2022-09-06 00:25:18 UTC
We have permanent drivers. But, if we don’t have enough on shift we have others trained to that position.
reallyryegrass14 karma2022-09-05 23:00:35 UTC
Does your town have harm reduction programs/groups that give out free and clean supplies and harm reduction gear to people?
EnderHeeler16 karma2022-09-05 23:24:44 UTC
We do not have that here. Can you explain to me more about it?
King_Ofroad17 karma2022-09-06 09:16:39 UTC
I am not the person you were responding to, but harm reduction refers to programs that help to reduce the negative consequences of certain behaviors.
A good example would be AAA offering free rides to anyone who is too drunk to drive on new years eve.
Another example would be condoms.
I think in this context the original commenter is asking about programs like needle exchanges and safe injection sites. These prevent deaths and the spread of illness associated with intravenous drug use.
EnderHeeler21 karma2022-09-06 10:23:59 UTC
Oh then I’m all on board
Zonegypsy14 karma2022-09-05 23:43:57 UTC
What holiday has you taking the most calls and what is the most common call that you respond on any give day?
EnderHeeler23 karma2022-09-05 23:52:33 UTC
Lots of holidays are slower than one would think. I think New Years and 4th July. Lots of drunk people.
Most common call is probably chest pain or difficulty breathing. Maybe a lift assist.
ForsakenRemote012 karma2022-09-06 00:30:28 UTC
I'm been thinking about joining my local fire department as a volunteer and have a couple questions:
What would you consider to be the minimum strength requirements for a firefighter?
What skills should I have before I apply? I don't have a lot of experience with power tools, and that's the part that worries me the most.
EnderHeeler14 karma2022-09-06 00:33:31 UTC
Can you put an average sized man on your shoulder and carry them. If you are of average adult strength then you’ll probably be ok. You’ll learn the tools there.
eheyburn11 karma2022-09-06 00:11:19 UTC
Did you ever have to revive someone so badly injured that you thought they would be better off if you didn’t?
EnderHeeler17 karma2022-09-06 00:27:38 UTC
aqxea250011 karma2022-09-05 22:11:10 UTC
What hurts more a paper cut, or a gunshot?
EnderHeeler26 karma2022-09-05 22:17:54 UTC
Steve-o papercut.. under the tongue… then that every time
ceciliabee10 karma2022-09-05 22:48:35 UTC
You're 13???? Haha just kidding. Have you ever rescued a cat from a tree? Do firefighters actually do that?
Thank you for the important work you do. Kind of makes me feel like I should be doing more.
EnderHeeler25 karma2022-09-05 23:00:10 UTC
I’ve rescued a few cats but not from a tree. We tell the homeowner to open a can of tuna and put it at the base. We tell them to call back if it’s still up there the next day. Never got another call. That was just the policy at that one.
My current one I have not had that call.
HuckleberryLou8 karma2022-09-05 23:34:31 UTC
How do you feel like your profession impacts your political vote? Are there any issues or causes that you feel strongly about because of your professional field?
EnderHeeler24 karma2022-09-05 23:40:34 UTC
My profession hasn’t impacted my vote but we have very vocal people on both sides here that butt heads often. I try to keep it to myself but my really close friends here know my stance. I try to see people options from their eyes and keep an open mind. I just try to listen and not talk about my views to them. Maybe just acknowledge what they are saying.
gumbi017 karma2022-09-06 00:33:11 UTC
Have you ever had to save someone you know like a friend, neighbor or family member while on the job?
EnderHeeler8 karma2022-09-06 00:35:35 UTC
Only acquaintances. But, I’ve worked with people that have responded to close family and friends.
kimpossible697 karma2022-09-06 00:08:14 UTC
Do you agree that an associates degree is too much to ask of paramedics like the IAFF proclaims?
EnderHeeler18 karma2022-09-06 00:25:30 UTC
PollitoPower7 karma2022-09-06 01:59:59 UTC
What does the lifepak or any AED do to a body? Like I've heard so many times that CPR could break the rib bones, what about the AED?
Can I call 911 for pet related emergencies, something that only involve pets not humans?
If I'm home alone and hurt (like fell down the stairs) and can't get up, I call 911, how do they come in? I mean, I guess they will break the door. Do they leave the door like that? I have dogs. What if my dogs run off?
This is something I often think about seriously as I am disabled and..
I even started training my son how to dial 911. I told him he has to remember to call 911 when I'm really really sick and can't get up. But he's only 3. Can't make proper sentences yet. What should I teach him? What should I tell him to say on the phone?
In this case, what do they do with my son when they take me to the hospital?
EnderHeeler14 karma2022-09-06 02:47:46 UTC
Electric shock that tries to send the heart back into a normal rhythm.
We do not deal with pet related emergencies. We just do not have the training for it but I have learned how to do cpr for my own pets through YouTube.
If you are just down and need help getting up we are very good at getting into structures without breaking anything. But, if you need help ASAP then we will break your door down. We will do everything to secure the structure on the way out.
If your son dials 911 but can’t communicate then dispatchers can ping cell towers and find your location.
JackOfOldTrades7 karma2022-09-06 03:55:03 UTC
You mentioned in one of your answers that you enjoy the rush of your job. But have you ever feared for your life during any of your responses (fire or EMT)? Any notable ones you don't mind sharing?
EnderHeeler7 karma2022-09-06 09:15:30 UTC
Never anything terribly close for ems work but in fire I’ve been scared more than a few times.
Econometrickk7 karma2022-09-06 01:48:33 UTC
How could we most effectively reduce waste (sending entire truck crews to medical emergencies) without affecting response times in critical situations? It's not a big deal in small towns but in larger cities it's a massive waste of money.
EnderHeeler9 karma2022-09-06 02:39:35 UTC
A lot of cities are working on this by having medics placed in pickups to meet crews that need the help and sending just the box on calls.
Spielburger_witFries4 karma2022-09-05 21:55:27 UTC
Is the title a typo? There’s no way you’re 13.
EnderHeeler4 karma2022-09-05 22:00:39 UTC
13 years on the job
Spielburger_witFries4 karma2022-09-05 22:31:01 UTC
I’m so stupid I should need a license to use the bathroom on my own. Sorry about the question, and thanks for the work and dedication that you (and your fellow firefighters) put in to the community.
EnderHeeler5 karma2022-09-05 22:35:51 UTC
Your not stupid at all. Looked at the most liked comment. Everyone is reading it that way. I f’d that title up.
MartitaUwU4 karma2022-09-05 23:08:58 UTC
have you seen a LSD overdose?
EnderHeeler12 karma2022-09-05 23:26:04 UTC
While working or…..
MartitaUwU3 karma2022-09-05 23:38:53 UTC
EnderHeeler12 karma2022-09-05 23:44:49 UTC
No, but when spice was a thing we got a handful of those and it was comedic at times but did look terribly uncomfortable for them
Raspberries-Are-Evil4 karma2022-09-05 21:56:45 UTC
How is it legal?
EnderHeeler6 karma2022-09-05 22:05:05 UTC
I am guessing you think I’m 13. I meant 13 years on the job
Raspberries-Are-Evil5 karma2022-09-05 22:11:03 UTC
Oh. Heh, right. Duh. Good for you!
EnderHeeler5 karma2022-09-05 22:17:20 UTC
Absolutely not duh. I’ve gotten about 1 every 5 minutes. That one is on me haha
tbroadurst3 karma2022-09-05 23:12:47 UTC
Where i am in BC Canada, there is a big OD problem. Ive heard of people being revived several times in one day. Have you experiences it, and how does it make you feel?
EnderHeeler8 karma2022-09-05 23:27:18 UTC
I’ve revived the same person multiple times but not in one day
president_gore3 karma2022-09-05 22:57:04 UTC
Are overdoses equal in proportion between high and low income areas that you respond to?
EnderHeeler4 karma2022-09-05 23:21:25 UTC
Low income areas are absolutely worse with them.
Narhen2 karma2022-09-05 23:53:38 UTC
I’ve always wanted to be involved in public safety/emergency services but not sure as a full time job. Do you have any information or advice on getting involved part time or volunteering?
EnderHeeler3 karma2022-09-06 00:04:03 UTC
Do you have any places near you that do this? Grab an application and expect it take half a year. Then a year of schooling that they should pay for.
trav1102 karma2022-09-06 00:04:16 UTC
Does driving a fire truck ever get old?
EnderHeeler5 karma2022-09-06 00:15:51 UTC
To most, no. I don’t really care a ton for it because I want to be the one to jump out and grab the hose or tools. Driver has to stay with his truck a lot of times.
BFeely12 karma2022-09-05 22:53:11 UTC
What's your take on COVID?
EnderHeeler7 karma2022-09-05 23:16:10 UTC
I think I have the cure. I have been treating patients for years now and haven’t gotten it. I mean… I am double vaxed and wear a n95 lol. But, we all live together and only a handful of us our left that haven’t had it.
TheBagman072 karma2022-09-05 23:14:08 UTC
Who in the firehouse makes the best food? What’s the secret to a good chili? What’s my best bet to put out an engine fire?
EnderHeeler3 karma2022-09-05 23:31:44 UTC
Our oldest guy near retirement does… sad day when he leaves but we got a lot of good cooks. I am not the chili guy, so I can’t help you. I make a lot of good food but not that.
Engine fire, water is just fine for it. But, if you are worried when out of the house then an ABC may save you… but once it starts you might as well get your possessions out. It’ll be totaled out.
585unicycleguy2 karma2022-09-05 21:50:23 UTC
How much money do you make annually and about how many hours do you work a week?
EnderHeeler7 karma2022-09-05 21:56:25 UTC
I work 144hr every 2 weeks and make around 82 a year before OT and I work a lot of OT.
ThisistheHoneyBadger2 karma2022-09-06 00:22:00 UTC
What is your fire department's secret chili recipe??
EnderHeeler3 karma2022-09-06 00:31:40 UTC
Do I look like… sound like a traitor!?
kaisermilo1 karma2022-09-05 22:48:49 UTC
What are your hose loads and nozzle compliment? What's minimum staffing for your department? Y'all got fully staffed specialities? Do you transport or is that another agency?
EnderHeeler3 karma2022-09-05 23:04:46 UTC
Just giving you the pumper
Flat load front bumper with 100ft 60 gpm (I think) nozzle rubbish/car fire
Two 200 ft triple layer preconnects on mid
Rear has 1000ft ldh
200 ft flat smooth bore
300 ft play pipe
300 ft flat Y
Side compartment 200 ft 3 inch Y
2 100 ft 1 3/4 hotel packs
jibsand1 karma2022-09-05 21:51:48 UTC
How are you able to be a firefighter at your age?! My cousin couldn't even try out until he was 18!
EnderHeeler3 karma2022-09-05 21:57:02 UTC
Hahah I have been working as a FF/EMT for 13 years
kimjames19871 karma2022-09-05 22:45:31 UTC
Out of curiosity, what lures you to become a medic? A coworker is going to medic school soon and I feel like medics just see the worst calls vs just running BLS/Fire calls all day.
EnderHeeler2 karma2022-09-05 22:57:15 UTC
Money, I think I’ll cap out 20k more per year by the end
MainerZ-1 karma2022-09-05 22:08:26 UTC
I wonder if OP realises how they've phrased their title?
EnderHeeler9 karma2022-09-05 22:16:37 UTC
Seeing as your the 5th one… yes.
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