Article by Tori Hastings - Central Bucks South High School
Images by Brett Szabo - Saucon Valley
Inspiring Teens Magazine - itmgz.com
Summer 2016 Issue
Brett is a volunteer firefighter from Hellertown, PA. Read all about his experiences below!
I recently interviewed Brett Szabo, a seventeen-year-old volunteer firefighter from Hellertown, PA. He really enjoys being a volunteer, as he is also a certified EMT. He goes on to tell me the sacrifices he has to make as a volunteer, what it really means to help someone, and what people can do to give back to their volunteers.
What made you want to become a volunteer?
I have always had a strong desire to serve my community, I believe it has shaped me as a person and I wanted to give back. I thought the best way to do that was to become a volunteer firefighter.
In your opinion, what is the best part of being a volunteer?
I really enjoy what I do, and I always feel a sense of joy and accomplishment when running a call or helping someone. The best part I would say is when I know I made a good impact on someone’s life. They are total strangers most of the time, and getting to save their lives is obviously not something you find within other volunteering.
How do you think your experience as a volunteer will impact your future?
Well, it already has. I know I want to help people. It provides a great way of training because I have plans to become a flight nurse. I am going to De Sales University for nursing and I already know my background with being an EMT and a firefighter will help me along with my studies. As an emergency responder, I have more experience with emergency situations already than most people.
What does being a volunteer mean to you?
Being a volunteer to me is making a sacrifice, not everyone is going to become a firefighter, but it is taking time out of your day or your week that is important. It’s not always convenient, but I believe it’s just part of the duty of being a volunteer.
What can people do to thank their volunteers?
They can recognize their volunteers. If it’s at restaurants, community days, church, etc. I believe it’s important to show them they are appreciated. Giving back to them with just as little as a thank you is really important because it keeps volunteers going after a hard day.
What is the hardest part about being a volunteer?
Making it work, definitely. We’re not all paid, we all have families, boyfriends/girlfriends, kids, friends, and other obligations or commitments, whether it’s school or work. Time struggle is hard, because it usually doesn’t just affect me but also my family and friends. Personally, I don’t know when I’m going to get a call so the inconvenient times are especially hard, sometimes in the middle of dinner, or even this year I got one on Christmas morning opening presents. It’s hard, but I try to make calls as much as I can.
Tell us an experience that is meaningful to you.
We had a community day at my fire company, and all the volunteer fire fighters were given the opportunity to show what goes on behind the scenes to our friends, families, and some total strangers. We got a call in the middle of the day and left to help put out a fully involved car fire on a local highway. No one was hurt, but someone needed to put out the fire. We soon got back to the station and went right back to the community day. I really thought we showed dedication and commitment that makes me proud to be a volunteer.