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Volunteer Fireman Rob Ross

Some people choose to help others and potentially put their life on the line as a profession - but did ya realize that some people do it on top of their regular jobs? Lots of cities and towns across North America have volunteer firemen who do what they can to aid our fire departments and our communities. Here's the scoop on one of those volunteer heroes.

The Hero
Rob Ross is 30 years old and has been volunteering with the Ottawa (Canada) Fire Department for a year now. Rosco, as his friends call him, has always been into helping others and his community. While in college, he was a Resident Advisor in the campus dorms, so continuing volunteer work after college came naturally.

The Job
Most volunteer firefighters, like Rosco, carry a one-way voice pager which goes off whenever there is a call. Rosco listens to the call and then goes to his car to join the firefighters and help out. When he's at the fire station, Rosco, as well as the other volunteer and full-time firemen, are constantly checking apparatuses, trucks and equipment to make sure everything is working properly. "We turn on all equipment such as lights, pumps, sirens and radios and if something is broken we mark it, take it out of service and get it repaired," explains Rosco.

The Big Bad
Rosco enjoys his volunteer job a lot but, as you'd expect, he's had some scary moments. His most recent scare involved what is known as "exposure" - that refers to things that are flamable and close to a fire such as trees, other houses, cars, etc. Last month the scare involved propane tanks next to a burning house. "We noticed that on one side of the house they had two big propane tanks," Rosco explains. "So, as I was trying to put out the fire, another group of firefighters were hosing down the propane tank to keep it cool so it wouldn't explode. It obviously worked because I am here talking to you."

The Fun
Rosco says that although the joke about rescuing cats from trees isn't common, firemen (including volunteers) help out a lot in the community. In the spring they sometimes help people with flooded basements because they have special pumps. They also participate in community events like parades.

September 11th
The events of Sept. 11th affected firemen around the world and Rosco's Ottawa Department was no exception. "September 11th brought a lot of pride back into our department. We realized that other firefighters work in very dangerous places and do some extraordinary things. It brought us all closer together," Rosco explained.


The Cash
Rosco is a volunteer firefighter so his pay is basically just to cover his expenses. Rosco makes $10 an hour (Approx. $5.50 US) with a minimum of two hours per call. But there are other benfits besides cash like bonding with fellow fighters and attention from girls, "Chicks dig it," Rosco smiles.

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When is National Volunteer Month?

  • December honors volunteers.
  • I think April is National Volunteer Month.
  • September is National Volunteer Month.

Dear Dish-It In The Forums

Autonomy
Autonomy posted in Family Issues:
"StarrChild" wrote: Two years ago my parents broke up. I was never really the same after that point. My mother she began to just not care about anything. She would go out clubbing every Friday and would yell at me for my attitude towards it. Why would I be okay with her doing that??? I didn't really realise it but I began feeling kind of depressed. Of course we didn't fight all the time but when we did I would always end up crying alone in my room. And it would be really painful. One time I cried every night for a week because of her. A week ago, I felt really sick at school so I went to the sick bay but my Mum refused to believe I was sick. She thought I was lying and being over dramatic as usual. I felt really horrible after that, that the teacher sent me to the guidance councellor and almost immediately I burst into tears. I didn't even know why I did but the councellor did a little test on me and came to the conclusion I was slightly depressed and had anxiety. It wasn't really surprising but hearing it out loud just felt really weird. Even after knowing that fact my mother doesn't really act any different. She's not a bad person I swear but she can just be really horrible at times. Anyways, that's technically whats been happening in my life lol. Nothing really interesting Oh dear, that sounds like a dreadful situation. I've lived through similar difficulties in my own life, and my heart goes out to you, truly. May I offer you some advice? I don't have the cure to your problems or a magic wand that can make them disappear, but I do believe that some good can come out of your living situation. The first thing I'd like to make note of, is that everyone makes mistakes. As human beings, we have to make mistakes. There's no way around it; it's how we learn and grow. And as we get older, we don't stop making mistakes. Your parents are no exception. Although we look to our parents for guidance, and direction, and support, we have to understand that they aren't perfect people, and they make mistakes. They may not always lead us in the right direction. They may not always set a good example. They may not always be there for us, to encourage us and support us when we need them most. And that's okay. Everyone makes mistakes, and we have to accept that. But we can't let allow other people's mistakes to hurt us, my dear. And I know it hurts. Your mum might not understand how her actions make you feel. You said you haven't been the same since your parents divorced, and I know how challenging that can be to go through. But you know, some of the brightest, wisest, and happiest people I've met, are people who have dealt with difficult problems in their lives, and used them to grow as people. You can let your parents' mistakes get to you, and make you upset and depressed; or, you can accept that they aren't perfect people, accept that they make mistakes, and accept that their mistakes don't have anything to do with you. So here's what you do, friend: you can't stop your mum from going clubbing, and that's okay. Don't try to. Don't fight with her about it. You can let her know how it makes you feel, but don't get into an argument. Accept the situation for what it is. Your mother is her own person, and she is accountable for what she does; you aren't. Next time you start to get in a fight or an argument with her, just step back, and withdraw yourself. Try it, see what happens. Once you decide not to let other peoples' failings affect you--and you do have the power to do this--then you'll find a sense of peace you probably haven't felt before. And you'll learn from your mistakes, and the mistakes of your parents, and everyone around you, and you'll be a better person. Press on.
reply 23 minutes
Dounuts
Dounuts posted in Family Issues:
Go to your neighbor's house and ask him/her to call to police.Everything will be just fine.
reply about 6 hours
RavenClawRaina
my ex is going through the same thing. Call the police now. Things will get out of hand. My brothers friend has been living with us for about 2 weeks becuz his dad punched him in the face. Call 911 now. They will help you. Just say you have been abused by your family member and they will take it from there. If you want, add me and we can talk
reply about 7 hours
XxRuby_PhoenixxX
If you are getting abused to the point where you bleed, call the police immediately. This isn't acceptable behavior.
reply about 7 hours
MRAP
MRAP posted in Family Issues:
Hey, Just wanted some advice to help me on what to do on this. Ever since I was 3 I've been both Verbally, Mentally, And Physically abused. To me, this is normal since it's been happening for so long. But I just can't take this thing anymore. When I get home I always get yelled at for no reason. I have been on Anti-Depressants for the past 1-2 years. Been going to counseling for 6-7 years for family. Nothing has changed yet. I just need help on how to handle this. Thanks.
reply about 7 hours