Rebecca — Firefighter of the Month!

Posted May 7, 2009 at 9:11 am by

Rebecca Smith - Firefighter of the Month

Rebecca Smith - Firefighter of the Month

One of the cool things I look for­ward to each month is find­ing out who the Fire­fight­er of the Month is gonna be…this month, Car­olyn at the Fire Depart­ment says it’s Rebec­ca Smith! Here’s more, from Carolyn:

Where were you born? In the state that has 4 times as many cat­tle as peo­ple and their offi­cial soft drink is Kool-Aid…Nebraska.

Famil­ial sta­tus (married/family/pets): Mar­ried to Fran­cis for 3+ decades; staff to 2 cats (Charles and Dar­win) for ½ decade.

Name a favorite food and your favorite music: Choco­late any­thing. Grew up on Jazz (my father plays piano & trum­pet); Clas­si­cal (my Grand­moth­er was a pianist and my 1st piano teacher); Folk and Rock ‘n Roll (the 60’s, of course).

What hob­bies do you have? I’m an ama­teur pho­tog­ra­ph­er, ornithol­o­gist, nat­u­ral­ist, yachtswoman and book reader.

What is the most inter­est­ing job you’ve held? Prob­a­bly my cur­rent one as a heavy res­cue tech­ni­cian where I get to use the “jaws of life”.

What brought you to SJI? Our Colum­bia 8.7 meter sail­boat. We anchored in Grif­fin Bay on a sum­mer vaca­tion and fell in love with the area.

What area do you live in? Cape San Juan – and nev­er tire of the stu­pen­dous views.

What do you like about liv­ing on SJI? The cama­raderie; neigh­bors help­ing neigh­bors; going to town for a 10-minute errand and get­ting home an hour+ lat­er after chat­ting with numer­ous friends.

What do you find is the hard­est part about liv­ing on SJI? Get­ting off and get­ting back on.

What comes to mind when you hear “Only on SJI…”? I can dial a wrong phone num­ber and end up talk­ing with some­one I know.

What is your posi­tion with­in the depart­ment? Engineer/Driver/Pump Operator/Rescue Technician/Firefighter. I was also a Fire Com­mis­sion­er for 6 years.

When and why did you join the fire depart­ment? While we were build­ing our house, neigh­bors Shirley Holm­gren and Pete Plun­kett dropped by reg­u­lar­ly to bug us about join­ing up – turns out they want­ed to retire and need­ed replace­ments. Now we’re near­ly at the same place they were!

What do you like best about the depart­ment? Dri­ving the big red engines.

What has been your most excit­ing event since join­ing the depart­ment? Run­ning into (and not out of) a burn­ing house – or maybe my first time as the pump oper­a­tor, pump­ing the “wet stuff onto the hot stuff” – or maybe cut­ting the roof off of a car to extri­cate the patient. All pret­ty darn exciting.

What did you find the hard­est Fire Fight­er skill to learn? Pump oper­a­tions-lots of tech­ni­cal stuff.

Do you have oth­er vol­un­teer activ­i­ties? Yes, I’m also an EMT.

Describe your ide­al day off: Wan­der­ing through Amer­i­can Camp and along the beach­es, search­ing for those award-win­ning pho­to­graph­ic oppor­tu­ni­ties of birds, bun­nies, fox­es, whales, flo­ra and fau­na, then lunch on the beach, fol­lowed by hors d’oeu­vres on our deck in the sunshine.

What are you most proud of? I can think of sev­er­al things: Help­ing folks, both as a fire­fight­er and EMT, who may be expe­ri­enc­ing the worst day of their lives; strug­gling through 10 years of night school for my BA; mak­ing the climbs up Mt Whit­ney and Mt Rainier and my first free-fall sky­dive (who knows — maybe jump­ing out of a per­fect­ly good air­plane pre­pared me for run­ning into a burn­ing building).

What would you like on your epi­taph? She lived life to the fullest, laughed lots and loved expansively…and man­aged to put up with Fran­cis all those years.

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