“I don’t care how long anybody has been doing this – when you hear that, it just creates something in you that is almost a feral response. You know, I don’t think that it’s something that you can even control – even if you are the most calm, salty, old-school firefighter and you’ve done it a thousand times – when you hear that, it just creates a reaction in you that’s just visceral.” – Captain Kara
The fire department’s alert system sliced through the previously quiet night, and Kara was jarred awake by an incomparable rush of adrenaline. A structure fire had been reported in rural Upstate New York by a neighbor, and she immediately knew there was a lot working against them, including time, distance, and water supply. Although they were racing through the inky darkness, from the back seat Kara felt like they were crawling, and she could only think about how far ahead of them the fire must be and the need to get to the people reportedly trapped inside.
Join former firefighter/paramedic and host Phil Klein as he shares the mic with Captain Kara, the first female officer in her fire department’s 213-year history. Kara discusses her work that spans what she calls the “best of both worlds.” Not only does she perform the hands-on work necessary to combat structural fires as a volunteer firefighter, but she also utilizes data as a fire and life safety educator and juvenile firefighter intervention specialist to understand how people are getting injured in relation to fire emergencies. Ultimately, she hopes to reduce the number of people injured or killed by fire and burn-related emergencies.
In addition to her career and volunteer work, Kara also owns St. Florian Fitness. Her goal is to reduce line of duty deaths related to poor cardiac health. You can learn more about Kara’s work by visiting her organization’s Instagram page: St. Florian Fitness.
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