An ex-firefighter has written a book on his experiences. The author, Russell Wangersky, gave up firefighting in 2003 and is now the editor of the Telegram in St. John’s NL&L. Haven’t read the book but it deserves a profile here.
Russell Wangersky’s nightmare unfolds like this: he is trying to revive a person who has collapsed, and instinctively instructs the small crowd that’s gathered around him to call for help.
But much to his horror, the bystanders simply outstretch thumbless hands that are incapable of using a phone, and he’s rendered helpless.
It is just one of the dreams that have tormented Wangersky since his eight years spent as a volunteer firefighter in Nova Scotia and Newfoundland – an experience he recounts in “Burning Down the House,” a new book that shatters the image of firefighters as heroes with unflinching courage. … “When I joined up in Wolfville, my fire chief said to me, ‘Oh boy, another college kid. I’m looking for strong backs and weak minds.’ People who will do what they’re told, do the job, get it done,” he says.
Wangersky started his firefighting career in Wolfville.
Wangersky was a boyish 21-year-old university student who had never seen a dead body when he signed up to fight fires with the volunteer department in Wolfville, a small community northwest of Halifax, his hometown.
During his time there, Wangersky would encounter house fires and horrific car crashes.
It’s also where the nightmares began – ones that continue to haunt him to this day.
We have the greatest respect for firefighters and they get very little recompense for what they do and endure. A lot less than our Town councillors, for example.