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From the wluLex Blog: Steven Vranian ’15

Steven Vranian ‘15 is a biology major from Richmond, Virginia. When he’s not in class, he volunteers as a firefighter for the Lexington Fire Department (LFD). The wluLex team sat down with Steven to find out a little bit more about his work.

Why did you decide to become a volunteer firefighter?

I decided to become a volunteer at the age of 16, when I obtained Emergency Medical Technician certification. My dad (a physician) was talking to a friend in the hospital who worked for GCFR and thought that I would find that sort of experience very cool. I had always wanted to be a firefighter since I was a young, so this seemed like the perfect opportunity to follow my childhood dream and help others at the same time.

What do most people not realize about the work that firefighters do?

Most people don’t realize that most of the calls firefighters receive aren’t, in fact, for fires. Given Lexington’s proximity to the interstate, a large portion of our calls are in response to vehicle accidents. Additionally, given the population demographics of Lexington and Rockbridge, the majority of LFD’s calls are actually for EMS. The LFD is interesting in that both Fire and EMS are combined, meaning that only one dispatch is made for either service.

What’s the most difficult thing you’ve ever dealt with as a volunteer firefighter?

I’ve seen a lot of gory and emotional stuff in my six years working in the Fire Service. The most difficult thing I¹ve dealt with personally was the death of a four year old patient that I transported from a vehicle accident. She lived long enough to reach the hospital, but died shortly thereafter. Having assured her mother (also in the vehicle) that we would get her daughter to the ER safely, I felt some sort of responsibility for a while after the event even though I knew it was outside of my control.

What’s the most rewarding part of being a firefighter?

I would say the most rewarding part of being a frefighter is the satisfaction I derive from knowing that I’ve helped the person or persons who have called. Often we work without thanks, but sometimes it’s a simple thanks from the individual(s), and even better, other times it’s a written note of appreciation. Regardless of whether or not direct thanks is given, knowing that what I’ve done is making a difference is satisfactory enough.

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