Vogts joins volunteer fire department

Monday was an interesting day for me.

As I sat in the Western Plains High School art room moderating a junior varsity scholar’s bowl, my phone rang. I didn’t answer it, and when I looked later at the missed call, I didn’t recognize the number.

Well come to find out it was a friend of mine, Troy Walker. He left me a message that first insulted my voice mail greeting and then invited me to a fire department meeting.

It was 6 p.m., and the meeting was at 7 p.m.

Next thing I knew I was leaning against a fire truck introducing myself as the one of the three new members of the Ransom City and Nevada Township Fire Department, which is a volunteer department currently trying to raise money for new Jaws of Life and other hydraulic rescue tools.

I tried on bunker gear, put in a request for a pair of boots that fit, got my picture taken for a name badge and picked out a space for my stuff (I don’t have a locker yet, but what I have works just fine).

I didn’t expect to join the department. I had thought about before, sure. I always thought it looked like something I would enjoy, and the fire fighters in Moundridge had even asked me to join (I declined that offer because I saw it as a conflict of interest for me seeing as I was the editor of the local paper).

I always figured I just didn’t have the time, but when Troy called me and said he was picking me up so I’d better be ready, I just went with it.

I will have to attend meetings on a regular basis (the last Monday of every month for sure), but there are no requirements for the number of calls one has to go on since it is volunteer, which is good because I thought my already busy schedule would preclude my participation. Busyness aside, though, I’m going to go on as many runs as I can. That’s why I’m there, right?

I’m looking forward to it. I think the adrenaline rush will be something I’m into, and since I enjoy helping others, this seems like a good decision.

Granted, when embarking upon 2010, I didn’t foresee this taking place, but I did say I wanted to be more physically active, immerse myself into my work and surroundings and allow for new opportunities to present themselves so I can grow as a person and not miss the chances to try different things.

I think joining the fire department fits the bill.

The only aspect of my 2010 Plan that joining goes against is when I said I wanted to streamline my efforts. It would appear I am simply taking on another task rather than cutting the fat from my to-do list. However, in the coming days and weeks, I believe I will be making decisions to remove myself from other ventures I am involved in, so I think I will still have a net-decrease in the number of activities I am taking part in. But that all is for another post . . .

If we ever shoot the firefighters calendar, this is probably what my picture will look like.

The point of all this is, I’m excited to be joining the volunteer fire department. I really enjoy living in Ransom. I like the community and the people. The only way it could be better is if my family and friends from back home lived out here.

That being said, I have this urge to give back to this community that has already been so giving and open to me. I want to cement myself here a bit and really see what happens.

I realize being on the fire department won’t be all fun and games. I’ll probably see things I didn’t think I ever wanted to see when dealing with car accidents and such, but I’m still pretty stoked. As a journalist, I have always enjoyed the adrenaline rush of various situations, both negative and positive ones, so I feel am will be fairly well suited for this.

But I guess time will tell. Either way, I’m ready to find out.

And if I were you, reader, I would stay tuned for the announcement of the “Too Hot To Handle” firefighter calendar I’m sure we’ll make now that I’m part of the crew. I’ve got my fingers crossed to be on the cover.

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About toddvogts 839 Articles
Todd R. Vogts, Ph.D., is an assistant professor of media at Sterling College in Kansas. Previously, he taught yearbook, newspaper, newsmagazine, and online journalism in various Kansas high schools, and he ran a weekly newspaper in rural Kansas. He continues to freelance as a professional journalist from time to time. Also, Vogts is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ), the Journalism Education Association (JEA), and the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC), among others. He earned his Master Journalism Educator (MJE) certification from JEA in 2022. When he’s not teaching or writing, he runs his mobile disk jockey service and takes part in other entrepreneurial ventures. He can be reached at twitter.com/toddvogts or via his website at www.toddvogts.com.