"For the past four years, I have called Saint Michael’s Fire and Rescue my home. When I was first asked to give a senior reflection, I was honored to be given the opportunity, but I also had no idea what I was going to write about. It wasn’t until this moment that I had given a lot of thought to the great opportunities and experiences that I have had here. I had always wanted to be a firefighter. I wanted to join my home department when I was in high school, but my parents told me that I should focus on my grades. When I was finally in college on my own, I decided I didn’t have to listen to them anymore and I was going to join. At first, I thought it would just be a hobby that I would spend some time at when it was time for me to run duty, but other than that I would just be a normal college student. I had no idea that it was going to become way more than a hobby for me.When I finally became a probie, I knew that this was really something different. I was spending more and more time at the station and really getting to know and trust everyone on the department, and it was awesome. It became all that I could talk about whenever I would go home and see my family. Of course, this quickly got very annoying for my parents, but I didn’t care because I really loved it.I have gotten to experience and see things that kids my age don’t normally have an opportunity to see. One of my favorite memories was my sophomore year we were called to a mattress fire in Winooski. At the time, it was only then-captain Mike Bodreau and me who were available to respond. We hopped into Engine 8 and were the first truck on scene. Mike then got on the radio and said, “4K4 and 4FF85 will have fire attack. Next incoming truck will have water supply and command.” That really got the adrenaline going. I was then told to grab both the dry chem extinguisher and the water can, and we headed up to the 2nd floor where we could see black smoke working its way down the hallway. We quickly masked up and extinguished the fire before another crew was even in the building. As a new guy on the department, that was an awesome call for me. We had five calls that day, and I can still remember every single one of them.That is just one of the many stories that I could tell. Not all of the calls have been as exciting as that, and not all calls have a happy ending to them. The thing that makes it amazing, though, is knowing that when you get back from a call, there are going to be people there that you can talk to if you need to. Everyone has your back. If it’s a hard call (such as a fatal car accident) that you were at, there are going to be people there making sure that you are okay and have someone to talk to if you need to. If it was a long and cold call, there are going to be people therewhen you get back and sometimes they have hot chocolate and coffee for you so you can warm up again after your 4 plus hours in 10-15 degree temperatures.These past four years have gone by so fast. I know that people always say things like, “Oh, college went by so fast. I can’t believe it’s already over,” but for me it wasn’t college that went by fast, it was my time on the department. I feel like, up until I was asked to write this, I had taken the department for granted. You never really think about the fact that something like this is going to end until the end is close. My entire time at St. Mike’s the first thing that I have considered myself is a Saint Michael’s Fire and Rescue Firefighter. I stayed up on campus for 3 summers, ran over 1,000 calls in my time here, and was even given the chance to be a lieutenant my junior year. Now that my SMFR career is ending, it’s hard to accept that I won’t get to run on Engine 8 and Engine 9 every day. It’s hard to accept that my fire shield will no longer say 85 and SMFR. And it’s hard to accept that I won’t see my family every day. Everyone on the department has become more than a friend to me; they have become my family. The amount of time that we spend together, and the stories that we have been through together, and how much trust you have to have in everyone has made me think of everyone as a family.While I am sad to be leaving in just over a month, I’m also okay with it knowing that I will still be a part of the SMFR family forever. I’m proud to havegotten to wear SMFR on my back every time that I wore my job shirt (this is wicked obvious, considering I had to buy a second job shirt because my first one became too faded and worn out), and I am proud to have been a part of such a great organization. I’m extremely excited to become an SMFR alum so that I can tell everyone about the coolest department in the world, and all of the great times that we have had. So finally, I just want to say, thank you SMFR for giving me the best 4 years that I could ever imagine." S. Gaudion
IN AN EMERGENCY
In the event of an emergency, remain calm. Call 911 and be ready to provide a few important pieces of information:
Follow all of the dispatcher's instructions, and do not hang up until you have been told to do so.
220 College Parkway
Colchester, VT 05446
One Winooski Park, Box 280
Colchester, VT 05439