‘I Am So Happy I Chose This Path for My Life’

By Elizabeth Mann, Yorkshire Volunteer Fire Department

My entire life I’ve been immersed in the fire service. My dad and grandpa both were in the fire service for over 30 years, so growing up it was normal to go to fire events. We always had the scanner on and I loved falling asleep listening to it.

Even at a young age, I loved everything medical. I loved reading my dad’s paramedic books. I would even read his medical dictionary. My dad had tried to plant the seed from the time I turned 13 that I should join. I never really gave it two thoughts. But I will say one thing, I loved going on calls with him while he was Chief. Every fire call, I would go on I got to take pictures for them to use.

I chose not to take the EMT class my senior year. I didn’t need it as I was going away to school. By the time I graduated, I hadn’t gotten accepted into the program I wanted, so I was attending a local community college.

I will never forget my last call before joining the fire department. I was at my dad’s when the tones dropped and I heard the words “structure fire.” I had class in about an hour, so I drove separately but I followed my dad with my heart racing. I was so excited. After that call, my dad asked me to join the department again – and I reluctantly agreed.

Fast forward six years: I have followed in the shoes of my grandfather and have been President of our department for three years. I’ve been a third-generation EMT for 5 and a half years now.

I am so happy that I chose this path for my life. I love volunteering for my community day in and day out. I hope my grandpa is looking down on me and is proud that I’m following the family tradition.