Meet Connie Calandra, a 43-year old mom of 3 children, purchasing agent and volunteer firefighter/EMT with the Pine Hill Hose Co. 5 in Cheektowaga NY.
I am definitely not what you would consider as your first choice to be the cover girl. However, maybe after you read my story I will change your mind.
I am 43 years old, married to my husband for 21 years, a mom of 3 children (2 daughters and a son) and hold a full-time job. I have no family members in the fire service, so there was no influence to join.
I volunteer because it is about “Paying it Forward!”
On February 15, 2010, my Mom experienced cardiac arrest. Had it not been for the EMTs/Paramedics that performed what they had been trained to do, I would have lost her that day. Just under a month later, she came home from the hospital with no limitations. She is practically perfect in every way. Words will NEVER be enough to show my gratitude to them.
After doing some serious thinking on how I could ever thank them, I decided that maybe I could do the same thing for someone else. I stopped up at the firehall several times and asked questions here and there. My oldest daughter starts college next week and my middle will be a senior in high school this year, my son is in 4th grade.
My life as a mom is slowly changing and instead of running kids around to school and sporting events, I am taking care of the neighbors when they need help the most.
It has been a very eye-opening probationary year for me. I am proud to say that I became a full-fledged active member of Pine Hill Hose Company this month!
If you think you’ve got what it takes to be a volunteer firefighter or emergency medical technician like Connie Calandra, contact your local volunteer fire department, complete our inquiry form, call our recruitment hotline 716.601.3021 or send us an email to iVolunteerFIRE@erie.gov today.