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Alumni Spotlight: Firefighter Jeffrey Blanchard

I had my first real fire, It was like a wild land fire, out west in Boca Raton. That was the moment that I realized the reason everyone tells you be safe. It never really hit home because everything I’ve done to that point was simulated fires where they can control the fire and turn it off but this was actually a real one. And based off what i’ve learned about those type of fires is they jump. Fire was in front of me, but it was spreading and at that moment you know, I started to think about my friends and family and thinking about like how I just wanted to make it home to my kids, to my boys and you know that was one of the major experiences that I had, that stuck with me. I never saw myself as firefighter growing up. I never had any firefighter role models. I played football, I played sports. Thought that was going to be my career path. Once that didn’t work out, i tapped into alot of different markets trying to find myself, trying to find something that gave me the same feeling and thrive that football gave me. Once i tapped into the fire side of things, It really made me feel at home. It really made me feel like I was on the football field. I got the same butterflies I got before a kickoff It was brotherhood, it was all about integrity and discipline and i loved it! This is like a family, this becomes your family you spend more time here than you do at home. So just like with football, and going through camp and the season, thats how we treat it here, at the fire station. You know going pro isn’t a guarantee, injuries can take place, other things can take place.Take education at school serious. While you’re there, start thinking about your back-up plan, start talking to people that you look up to. Find some good mentors that can guide you in the right direction that can tell you some fields that may fit your personality and just start asking people about how they like their careers. You know, you want to talk to people that really enjoy what they’re doing and see if it relates to you at all, but try to find your back up plan. I think the earlier the better so you won’t be lost after college. You know, you can tap into it immediately.


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