Hi, I’m Jeff Soveran. I’ve been a member of the Kindersley Fire Department for the past 30 years, and my current position is Deputy Chief.
For me, wanting to become a firefighter was simple, I was looking for a way to be a part of the community. I’d thought about service clubs and just stumbled upon the fire department as being an option. Of course, over the years my reasons for staying and continuing to be a firefighter has evolved to so much more than being just a part of the community, it’s about helping others when they need it most.
When someone chooses to become a firefighter it becomes a huge individual commitment that quickly involves more than yourself, it becomes a part of your life, impacting your entire family, and it also has a direct effect on your employer. You have to have the support of your family, community and employer to make it happen.
The biggest challenge facing firefighters today would be, in my opinion, the health, safety and fitness of firefighters. Heart disease is one of the leading causes of fatalities, which is caused by a number of things such as overexertion, stress, lack of physical fitness, being overweight and smoking. Firefighters also have a higher risk of cancer due to exposure to carcinogens; I recently read that firefighters are more likely to be diagnosed with cancer than the average person. Other exposures can cause lung illness, which can cause serious and permanent lung damage, especially if the firefighter smokes. Other areas of concern are the firefighter’s mental health since after a traumatic call they can suffer with anxiety, depression, and PTSD– in fact, these are on the rise among firefighters.
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