Ways To Live A More Interesting Life
@BillBergeman posted a list titled "10 Ways I Can Live A More Interesting Life" and that is the inspiration for this post. I'll note that for a lot of things that are interesting in my life and what I see people talk about here can be found being a volunteer firefighter. It's very relevant to this topic. Most of these build off my initial decision to start volunteering in 2003.
That's me picking up hose after a wildland fire training exercise. We live in an area of high wildfire danger. Just having the basic training that you get from a class called S-130/190 is interesting. Even with minimal interest in fighting fire, you will have a knowledge base that not too many will have and you will understand nature more than you do now.
1. Become a volunteer firefighter.
I'm not very mechanically inclined but I've learned a few simple fixes. Equipment breaks and sometimes it can be resolved with very simple troubleshooting. I am far from gifted but have learned more than I'd otherwise have learned.
2. Learn how to fix things.
This is very easy to do as a volunteer firefighter. Just show up. The image is of a four year old with head injuries from a sledding accident about to be flown to Phoenix. Because of the snow and where the house was, there was no getting there with a department vehicle. This was close to where we live so I went direct on my ATV. As I walked in to the house and saw her across the room I immediately told dispatch to put a helicopter on standby. I assessed her for about a minute and then told the family, we need to drive her to the station in my ATV and we're going to fly her. I had to tell the mother, this will be the longest one mile drive of your life, I have to go slow so we don't have an accident (the road was that dicey). Tell me that wasn't interesting.
3. Help people in your community.
Vehicle accident quite a few years ago, multiple agencies called. We get there, the human patient is being tended to and someone says the dog needs help. I'm the chief and I've got to figure something out because the dog is hurt, struggling to breathe, the people think his ribs are broken. "We have a Fido Bag, go grab it!" I can't believe I remembered. We held it close enough that the dog knew it was what he needed and he put his muzzle into the cone. Might be the most amazing thing I've ever seen. Tell me THAT wasn't interesting! I could go on. Two weeks ago I pulled a guy out of the roof of his car. I've got more stories than I can remember.
4. Another example of helping
I'm an EMT. It's a semester long class. It used to be that it was designed so that if you studied you'd pass but it's a little more difficult now. A similar medical training is for wilderness medicine. Both offer very handy medical skills that if not involved with an emergency service, I bet you'd use at least once in your life.
5. Get medical training
I've been with our department since 2003 and the chief since 2012. There are countless challenging situations to confront. They relate to personnel, running the department and of course emergencies. In 2017 our area was threatened by the Goodwin Fire. The community was evacuated with four or five of us from the department staying behind at night. More personnel came to the station during the day. On a Tuesday during the incident, the fire blew up. For about a minute, I didn't know what to do it was too much. Then I figured it out, we would keep three fire trucks and water truck at the station, we'd send the other two water trucks and the ambulance and everyone's personal vehicles down to Costco. We created a mini task force with part of our fleet and it would be easier to scramble out of there if we actually had to make a run for it. Tell me that's not interesting.
6. Level up to a leadership position
Since 2010, I've been part of an interagency planning group that puts on a big regional wildland fire training exercise every year. First this helps our department get more training, usually with live fire. Prescott is a big hub in the national fire community, we have quite a few elite level leaders in wildland fire here and I have been able to know them and interact with the for many years. What are you interested in, how often are you able to interact with the highest tier people in that interest? I do that on a regular basis. Our interagency cooperation for this is nationally known in the fire community, a few years ago people came from South Dakota to make a documentary about it and I have a seat at the table, literally, for being wiling to volunteer. Selfie with the Governor of Arizona from 2018.
7. Go above and beyond
I could go on just as long about financial blogging which I've been doing since 2004. It's led to doing many things I'd have never otherwise done and meet people I'd have never otherwise met.
8. Do more than one thing
Last summer I was part of a baseball card art "competition" to have MLB rename the MVP trophies after negro league legend Josh Gibson. This was a great thing to be a part of and completely different than anything else I've ever done.
9. Do more than one thing part two