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This is my relaxation this is my fun, and my fun is to help people. It’s all I’ve ever been driven to do in life.
Captain Chuck Iaverone Firefighter/EMT

Always on Call

Firefighters make sacrifices to serve their community

Men and women at the Liverpool Volunteer Fire Department go above and beyond.

For the average American, the workday starts at 9 a.m. and ends at 5 p.m. For the volunteers at the Liverpool Volunteer Fire Department, 5 p.m. is the halfway mark.

Being a volunteer firefighter requires a lot of dedication and consumes a lot of time. Jeremy Burch, a Liverpool volunteer firefighter and accountant at Excellus, leaves his “day job” and goes straight to the firehouse three to four times a week.

It takes dedication.

Burch stays busy between work, volunteering at the fire department, and spending time with his six-year-old son Austin.

Burch admits volunteering is also tough because he balances work obligations and umpiring high school baseball. But he says he continues to volunteer because of the commitment he has made.

It takes motivation.

Carol Christiansen, a Liverpool volunteer firefighter/EMT and Licensed Practical Nurse at the University Health Care Center, says she usually doesn’t get much time between leaving work and going to the firehouse.

“So I’ll go home and do a quick change,” said Christiansen. “Usually I don’t even eat dinner before I leave.”

On top of work and volunteering at the firehouse, Christiansen is also taking classes to further her education in the medical field. This education not only makes her a better nurse, but also a better firefighter.

It takes time.

Doug Grahm, a Liverpool volunteer firefighter/EMT and a paid firefighter for Syracuse, says he has to put in some pretty long days when he leaves one firehouse and goes straight to the other.

Grahm says that he does miss out on some of the little things in life while he is busy volunteering and working to keep his and his fellow firefighter’s skills up to par, but training is important.

“It certainly can be a sacrifice,” said Grahm. “I’d love to go home at nights and go to sleep. But I go to the firehouse and make sure everything is taken care of.”