On the way to pick Nightbird up from work today, I came across a vehicle which was stalled out in a live lane in a kinda dangerous spot coming off of the highway.  As usual, I stopped to offer my assistance.  The young lady in the car told me the tow truck was only about 10 minutes away.  So I set up some pylons and waited.

Unfortunately, there was a massive 6 car pile up just down the highway.  So in turn, the tow truck decided to go to the wreck, instead of drop off the gas.  So we ended up waiting for about an hour and a half or so.

We ended up having some fairly interesting conversations and had a few laughs.  She turned out to be very good company.  Most of the time motorists who I assist will just sit in their car and do their own thing.

In the end, I was late, but I helped someone, and perhaps prevented an accident.  And I felt good about that.  Had I left her alone, I would of been worried, and if anything happened I would totally blame myself.

Re: Volunteers

This leads back to a discussion I had with a few of the other firefighters at the hall.  Some of them commented that if their in a hurry, they would likely just drive past an accident, or at least stop to make sure no one is injured.

On that note, I agree that different people have different priorities and methods.  In my case, I just like to help people in need.  In any way I can.  There are others who will only help if they are dispatched to help - and I suppose that is okay. It is forsure a lot safer, as you aren't risking your own life quite as often.  But I try not to think about that.  I think, gee, if I was in this persons shoes, would I want someone like me to stop and help?  And usually, the answer is yes.

I do feel that this does lead back to how dedicated one is to helping people.  I can admit that I do place my helping people in dangerous situations very high on my priorities.  I would respond to a call if I had company over visiting, or even if I was in the middle of a wild night of sex.  So long as I myself am physically able to respond (i.e. I am not falling asleep, and I am not sick or ill) then I will be there.  Not everyone thinks like this.  And again, I am not trying to judge anyone.  But obviously the fire dept isn't a top priority to them.  And in the end, that is okay.  After all it is volunteer.  No one pays us for this.

The fact that we will still go out there, and if need be, run into a burning building to save someone, is a testimate to the courage and commitment of all volunteer firefighters, even if when their off duty, the fire dept isn't their main priority.  :)

Also note, that being said, I would not respect a fellow firefighter less if he or she wasn't as dedicated as I, nor would I expect everyone to be.  I respect all emergency personel quite highly until they give me serious personal reason not to respect them.  Usually that involves being a dick and abusing their power without just cause.