James Crowley, a member of the Highland Teachers Association who has served his community as an educator and a volunteer firefighter for more than three decades, shares why he finds meaning in giving back:
I am a technology teacher, recently retired after 32 years in the classroom. I have also been a volunteer firefighter for just over 30 years. This past Saturday night we had yet another life saved. A neighbor in our town called 911 stating that her husband was having difficulty breathing and needed to go to the hospital. As the first units arrived, the 63-year-old gentleman went into full respiratory arrest and was not breathing. Our fire department paramedic placed a tube into his lungs and we did the breathing for him.
I drove the ambulance 30 minutes to the hospital emergency room. Before we arrived at the hospital, this gentleman's condition had improved and he wanted the tube taken out.
He was talking and answering questions as I backed into the emergency room ambulance bay. We work alongside our local town police department and as a team we were able to stop this person from dying.
These are the types of calls for help that make us feel good about getting out of bed in the middle of the night and all the work involved in the additional hours of training and education to be a volunteer firefighter and an EMS person.
Many times we are called too late to help and we can only be there to support our neighbors in a time of crisis. The volunteer fire service is made up of members from all walks of life and careers.
Many of us are proud to say we are also teachers.