After serving in the military, many veterans choose to pursue a career in the medical field.
Some choose join volunteer fire departments to gain experience.
Patrick Murphy from the Dale City Volunteer Fire Department (DCVFD) talked about his experience.
Murphy is an EMT for Fire Station 13.
What is your background?
I was born and raised in Massachusetts, right outside the city of Worcester in a town called Shrewsbury. I went to Shrewsbury High School, and graduated in 2011. And, after that, I enlisted in the United States Marine Corps.
What do you do now?
Right now, I am a student getting my paramedic, and I will be able to test for the exams in August, hopefully. And, after that, I plan to go to George Mason to get my nursing degree.
Why did you join the volunteer fire department?
I joined Dale City [Volunteer Fire Department] on the recommendation of my roommate, who is a good friend of mine that I served with. And he was a volunteer here for a little while, and he said it was a really good experience. So, I figured I would get some experience, as well — as I’m on my road to get my paramedic. And I hope to continue with the department while I’m doing my nursing program, as well, so that way that experience can transfer over to getting on to a paid department.
How does your military experience apply to the fire department?
A lot of guys that I’ve met are former military. What I really enjoy about the fire department is that sense of brotherhood is still there. We still care for each other, like we do in the military. I can come to anyone with anything if I need to. We look out for each other. We run through calls, and we’re all getting up at the same time to go to the same call. And we take care of each other, look out for each other, and make sure that the patient is safe and is taken care of.
Would you recommend the volunteer fire department to other veterans?
Honestly, a lot of my friends that have gotten out, they’re telling me that they’re going to their EMT program, they go to the nursing, or they go for PA school — physical therapy. And I recommend to them — I’m like, “Hey, if you want to get your feet wet a little bit and see what it’s all about, you may like fire school, you may like EMT school. Join a department. Because there’s nothing wrong with doing that. You’re giving back to your community, and it’s a sense of accomplishment, and I thoroughly enjoy it. And a couple of them have come back and said, “Hey, this is my thing.” A couple of them have said, “Hey, this isn’t. But good looks; thanks for looking out for me.” And I constantly keep in contact with all my friends, and it definitely helps out.
To join the DCVFD, visit https://www.dcvfd.org/membership.
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