My name is Eric Leight. I’m a fella from New Jersey who decided to try his luck in the Pacific Northwest as a firefighter. Through ten weeks of intense training, both physically and mentally, we now stand here waiting for our chance at action. Over the past two months, a lot has happened, and I do mean a lot. Whether we were out in the forest cutting down trees, or on our own time “exploring” the town, there was never a dull moment. The crew is made up of likeminded people with a passion for fire, and a thirst for adventure. Us coming from a military background, we were all somewhat prepared for the rigors of training. We were expected to perform at a certain level and hold ourselves to standards, and we have. We all relish in the idea of self-improvement and seek it out in any form we can.
After all the training, the chainsaw qualifications, CPR certifications, and enough PowerPoints to make a man mad, we are here. Ready and willing. Foaming at the mouth like stray dogs waiting to pounce on a prey. Our prey is fire and we are starved. This experience so far has convinced me that a life of firefighting is a life I want. The crew has come together and real friendships have been forged. The comradery and intensity is something I have missed sorely since my time in the Marines and having it back is worth all the blood, sweat and tears I have.
We have countless stories to tell, but only a few privileged people may hear them…