Have you ever seen a fire engine being driven down the road with its red lights shining and siren blaring; witnessed firefighters wearing heavy coats, pants and helmets responding to help someone? Have you ever wondered what it takes to do that? In the early days—even here on the Westside—normal everyday citizens would hear the bell ring, knowing somewhere someone needed assistance. They would run out of their shops, their businesses, or their homes, and wait by the curb to jump on the fire engine, some still wearing their work attire – ready to go help their neighbors.
If there was a fire, buckets of water were used to douse the flames or burlap sacks were used to “beat” the flames out. If there were medical emergencies, the local doctor was summoned for assistance.
Back then, the training involved for handling these emergencies was quite less than what it is today. As society grew, the need for more modernized equipment became apparent. With that equipment came a greater need for training, and with increased training came the ability of our firefighters to do more than just fight fires.
Today, our firefighters (Volunteer and Career) are trained to respond to a greater variety of calls then those of days gone by. We still fight fires – structure fires, vehicle fires, trash fires and vegetation fires – each with their own complex hazards. Instead of summoning the local doctor for medical emergencies, our personnel are trained in first aid and CPR; certified as first responders, emergency medical technicians, and even some as Paramedics. These advances in medical training give our firefighters the ability to provide a better level of service to our community members.
As we’ve progressed over the years, the need to “do more” has become the firefighter creed. We don’t just wait for the fires anymore – hazardous materials response, technical rescue (including vehicle extrication, high angle/low angle rope rescue, confined space and trench rescue, flood and swift water rescue), fire inspections, public education, and much more are all in a day’s work. Still interested? The amount of initial training is approximately 200 hours. It sounds like a lot of time, but what you’ll get out of it is so beneficial – to you, your family, your coworkers, and your community. Stop by the Fire Department Headquarters down town (next to City Hall) for an application!
Since March 2013, local businessman Ryan Bailey has become a dedicated volunteer firefighter for the West Side community and Patterson area.
Bailey, a notable business owner of Platinum Pool Service in Patterson and a plumber/electrician for A Quality Plumbing and Electrical, said he wanted to volunteer his services for the in order to utilize his EMT skills to help others in the Patterson area.
Bailey is only too eager to offer his services to those in need and is currently considering a future in becoming a fulltime firefighter.
“I enjoy servicing the West Stanislaus Fire District,” said Bailey. “One day I would like to be a career five firefighter with a department.”
Despite holding down two jobs and volunteering for the local fire department, Bailey still has time to be a loving husband and father of three.
“I have been happily married for nine and a half years and have three beautiful children—a boy and two girls,” he said.