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5 Fire Safety Tips for the Holidays

Happy holidays, everyone!

As I type this, I’m sitting on three days straight of turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, and more.

With the holidays comes cooler weather.

In fact, it’s been so cool in California that my own family has been using their fireplace for the past week.

It took us awhile to get here—but get here we did!

However, fireplaces aren’t all fun and games.

With our homes becoming packed to the brim with family, friends, and, let’s be honest, stuff, it’s important to ensure that every precaution is being taken with your fireplace.

Take a look at these five fire safety tips for the holidays to see how you can help make your home a safer place.

Image from Mt. LFD

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5 Surprising Traits of A Good Firefighter

Firefighters are known for a few things: their integrity, charitable nature, and their willingness to die for strangers. Their bravery is just one trait among many that sets them apart from the average person, while making them particularly good at their job. Of course, these traits are no secret to the average person. People have a pretty good idea of the amount of courage it takes to run firefighter-1560003into a flaming building, mostly because very few people have any kind of courage that even closely resembles that of a fireman or firewoman. We’ve all seen that big red car speeding own the street, sirens blaring, as they race off to some unknown tragedy to rescue someone once more, and we’ve all realized that we could never do the job they’re doing.

Between rushing into burning buildings, suffocating under the weight of heavy equipment, and being choked by smoke, it’s no surprise that a firefighter job is not for everyone. But what other traits are required of a firefighter? Continue Reading

What To Do Before You Apply for A Firefighter Job

Yesterday my family celebrated the birthday of one of our closest friends of the family. He turned 23, spent the day outdoors, and was nowhere near the celebration that took place. Why? Because he was in Arizona fighting a fire.

From a young age, our friend knew exactly what he wanted to do. He took the necessary classes and finally, only two years ago, began majoring in the necessary forestry classes at Northern Arizona University. Ranked a top 10 forestry program in the U.S., he will leave the program with an in-depth and thorough understanding of how a forest works, as well as the necessary measures that need to be taken to keep it thriving. And like I said above, in his spare time, when he’s not studying forestry, he’s already on the field, taking care of forest fires as they come in.

Is this what all fire fighters go through?Firefighter Turnouts-Gear Rack

If you were asking yourself whether or not this is what every firefighter must go through, prior to getting their firefighting job, then you wouldn’t be alone. When I first heard the strenuous schooling he was undergoing, I became confused. I didn’t realize so much went into firefighting. I was under the impression that it required brave men and women, who were willing to risk their lives in the flames. While I’ve since come to learn that firefighting doesn’t actually require this amount of schooling, I have definitely learned that there are still a great list of things they must go through, prior to slipping into that great red truck. Continue Reading

If you’ve ever known a firefighter, you know that they’re as close to a brotherhood as you can get. Besides the obvious (that they have to learn to not only watch one another’s back in a fire rescue) they also learn to work together seamlessly so that in a rescue no one gets left behind. They’re a well-oiled unit, operating entirely for the service and wellbeing of those who surround them. When they enter a burning building, their thoughts are more selfless than the selfish, risking their own life so that others can be safe, while also assuming a position that will help get their team out of the engulfing flames in now time at all.

Growing up down the street from a fire station, I knew my fair share of fighters. Not only did I have the distinct pleasure of growing up next door to two very kind and courageous men (more on the one here), but I’ve also been blessed to get to know my best friend’s husband, who—you guessed it—happens to be a volunteer firefighter. These men (and women) are kind individuals, who, living in southern California often times need a break, but won’t say anything because they’ve got a job to do.

As southern California gets further and further into its hot season (which is a joke in and of itself), I can’t help but remember this time last year. It was the calm before the storm, so to speak, as hot and dry April days lead to an even hotter and dryer month of May, until finally hell broke loose in the form of eight distinct full range fires in southern California. Unfortunately for us, this is all too familiar a scenario for our desert cities, and even with our firefighters prepared and willing to fight the flames, we were all but engulfed for nearly a month. With fire season quickly approaching, and April remaining just as dry as ever, I wanted to offer a few tips and tricks for keeping our mountain ranges and city fire free, so that our hardworking firefighters can earn a well deserved break. Continue Reading