The career of a firefighter is one of the most physically taxing and rewarding jobs in the world. You have the rare opportunity to help people in their time of need while receiving the respect and support of your community. I have been a firefighter for six years; three years as a volunteer in Metter, GA and three years as a full-time firefighter at Riverdale Fire Services. There comes a time in some firefighters careers where we make a change/switch departments due to multiple reasons. On November 22nd of 2016 I was blessed with the opportunity to become a firefighter for the Decatur Fire Department.
In my six years as a firefighter I have experienced three departments with totally different visions and daily functions. One difference I noticed immediately was the structure and morale of my crew. 7:30 am, I walk into the training office for morning muster as my fellow firefighters great each other with hugs, handshakes and smiles ready to meet any challenge headed their way. Our Captains have already structured our entire shift with all training, community activities, and truck assignments for each crew member. The fact that my role and responsibilities for the next 24 hours are already in place is great. It allows us to focus on the task at hand and prepare for the planned events as well as the unknown calls to which we will respond.
The most important change to me is the vision. Chief Washington as well as the other leaders at Decatur Fire Department want me to thrive as not only a firefighter but as a servant to my community. They are not only receptive to new idea and perspectives but they encourage them. Having a positive and supportive crew and vision that resonates with your desires not only makes your working environment enjoyable, it propels you forward due to the support of your peers. It makes you want to excel beyond their expectations of you and make them proud.
Firefighter Kelvonte Byrd
Firefighter Byrd has been with Decatur Fire and Rescue for three months now.