My name is Olga Bersotsky, I was born in 1982 in Moldova (a small country in Eastern Europe). I am an only child in my family. My father is a farmer who owns vineyards and sells grapes, and my mother is a public healthcare worker. I came from a family of very hardworking and humble people.
After graduating from high school, I went on to study Public Administrations in a Government academy. I spent my childhood and early adulthood in Moldova until I met my husband and moved to Israel in 2004. I lived there for ten years, during which I had two beautiful girls. That country will always hold a special place in my heart. After a long and tedious immigration process, we were finally given the opportunity to move to Canada in 2013 thanks to Tolanda and John Baker and the LUK Plumbing and Heating Company. We could not have asked for better supporters! I was always drawn towards becoming a first responder, but I could not apply for any of these jobs in Israel because in order to do so, I needed to have my military service done–it is mandatory.
After moving to Canada, I realized I had an opportunity to become a firefig
hter. In February of 2015, I joined the Kindersley Fire Department (with the help of Dan Baker). Being a firefighter proved to be a very challenging job. Every time my pager goes off, I understand, deep down, that something terrible has happened, but this does not stop me from rushing to the fire hall. In my firefighting career, I have not seen as much as some of my colleagues, but still enough horrible things. As our chief, Ron Hope, says, “I wish my mind could forget what my eyes have seen”
It is very rewarding when you are able to save someone’s life, it is devastating when you are unable to help. In my opinion, any loss of life on an emergency scene leaves a scar on the soul of any firefighter and any first responder. Throughout our careers, we keep collecting those scars.
With that, however, there are also many good memories we share with our team. I remember the many water fights we had during practice at the hall. Have you ever tried having a water fight with a firefighting hose? Oh, it is very fun! I could not have asked for better colleagues and friends at the fire department because I know they are always there for me, just as I am there for them. It gives me comfort knowing that they are within a phone call’s reach; they truly are like a family to me.
So, to answer the question on why I became a firefighter, it’s easy; if not me, or anyone else like me, then who?
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