Saving Lives


Abby Paquette, Staff Writer

Imagine waking up not knowing what each day is going to bring, where the unexpected is expected. With just the sound of a siren you know you’re about to put your life on the line for someone else. This is the life of a firefighter, firefighting is an extremely important job; it saves many lives and many people’s property. You risk everything to save the lives of the countless strangers you encounter. This is the exciting life that firefighters endure, this is the exciting life Brian Paquette lives. Firefighters are among the most courageous people on Earth. As a firefighter, your responsibility is fire safety, fire suppression, and emergency medical response. Brian is a lieutenant which means he is the supervisor on calls and in charge of EMS operations on top of regular duties. With six to eight calls per shift in a twenty-four hour span and only four to six hours of sleep, this job takes tremendous focus and the love for helping others.

Firefighters don’t have time to hesitate when they think of everything that can go wrong. Not only do firefighters save people from burning buildings, they also go on emergency calls such as heart attacks, respiratory problems, any other medical problems, or in the case of working for the City of Manchester, saving people from overdosing. Since the opioid epidemic, working for Manchester is very busy and “sometimes it feels as though we are taken for granted.” No matter what the situation is, it’s their mission to stay focused, and no matter what happens, know that they gave it their all. The strength and perseverance involved in their job is enormous because lives are on the line.

In a fire rescue squad, Brian says, “your fellow firefighters become your brothers. Watching your back in every situation the team faces, they stand by your side. Even though sometimes they have drama from a previous call or just disagree, once the siren goes off it is forgotten. Knowing you have friends you can always count on is something necessary for survival in this line of work.”

Firefighters are part of a union which means “protecting my job, my working conditions and my benefits.” Putting your life on the line to save another human being is a satisfaction that few get the pleasure to experience. Brian Paquette gets to experience this, but not every call is good, “anytime a child dies is the worst call to have, but also anytime you know you helped someone and you made someone else’s life better, makes for a great call, you can’t pin it on one call because every single call has a best and worst part.”