Jack’s Journal: Firefighting

Quiet is good at a fire station, because when the call comes in, that changes fast. 

Firefighters like Josh Sprenger have firefighting in there DNA. His grandfather, uncle and brother have all fought fires. 

As many of the rural departments are still volunteer, the model is changing.

“I started out as a volunteer in Grand Traverse County. The only thing we received was a small stipend for fuel allowance,” says Josh. “Did it for the love of community, helping people, to this day I still do that.”

The fire house is what you think. There are the sleeping quarters, the living room and kitchen. But modern fire houses have workout equipment and washing machines for their gear. Training has also changed.

“Fifteen years ago we’d train once a month, maybe a Sunday breakfast, pancakes and stuff. Now we train an hour a day. There are standards, laws, there are higher standards we have to follow,” explains Josh.

Equipment is advancing with infrared camera’s to locate folks in smoke filled home. The Lucas Device allows for steady CPR compressions for long periods of time. 

They are no longer just firefighters. Today they wear many hats, firefighter, EMT, special search and rescue. Josh says they are out the door within 90 seconds, from alarm to putting the truck in drive.

Yes, the job has changed, and yes, it can be dangerous but at the end of the day it’s worth it.

“You see people at the worst time of their life. You do your best to help them. It’s not always a good outcome, but you feel good doing your best,” says Josh.

Even in quiet Northern Michigan this is a dangerous job. So when you see a truck responding, move to the side. We want everyone safe. 

Categories: Jack’s Journal