• Writing

    The Dangers Of Relying Solely On Volunteer Fire Departments

    On December 1, 2023, I received an alarming call from my mom, telling me about a major fire that erupted just down the street from her home. This news immediately sent shivers down my spine. As someone who served over two decades in the paid fire service, I’m acutely aware of the devastating impact fires can have. So, I decided to visit her and see the aftermath for myself. The scene was heartbreaking—a landmark building, burnt out and standing as a stark reminder of the incident. I captured the haunting images of the charred structure, which was yet another tragedy that unfolded so close to my childhood home. This fire,…

  • Diary

    My Next Chapter In Life

    The haze of my past seems to engulf me tonight as I think about my next chapter in life. My spirit echoes within the confines of nostalgia as I meander down the path of my history. It seems like just yesterday when the clanging bell of the fire station sent my pulse racing. The racing thrill of riding the red engine, the weight of the gear on my shoulders, the primal fear of the flickering, licking flames, and the exhilaration of saving lives—that all-encompassing sensory overload is etched into every fiber of my being. Firefighting—it’s a tough gig, no doubt, but for a woman, it carried extra baggage. The scrutiny,…

  • Cornerstone Content,  Writing

    The World I Came Into Has Gotten Too Scary

    My earliest memories are of being a small child sitting on the marble floor of our Greenwich Village apartment. There was something comforting in the coolness of that floor, in its immovability, in its seeming lack of opinion or judgment. It was a respite from the complexities of life in a large city with multiple families living in upstairs apartments under one roof. All my difficulties felt as if they could be put aside for a few moments in that little corner, next to the refrigerator. I could take comfort in the simple, repetitive task of sorting and stacking colorful blocks, ignoring the struggles in the wider world around me.…

  • Diary

    An Old Friend’s Question: Would I Ever Return To Firefighting?

    An old friend called me and asked, “would you ever return to firefighting?” To which I replied, “that all depends on what you have in mind”. He clarified that he wanted me to come back and fight fires with him again. He was referring to the way things used to be, and how we had a lot of fun together. I told him, “the way things used to be weren’t the way things are now, and perhaps they never will be.” “I just wanted to know”, he said, asking me again, “would you ever consider coming back to fighting fires?” I thought about it for a moment, and then I…

  • Fire Department,  Writing

    The Art Of Saying Goodbye

    It’s an awkward feeling – the one you get when you have to say goodbye to someone you don’t want to let go of, be it a friend, colleague, or loved one. If you do not understand the art of saying goodbye, your relationships are bound to suffer. There’s nothing more important than solid relationships in this world if you want to succeed in life. I defied my parents’ wishes and dropped out of college. I was extremely intelligent, but struggled within the modern educational system. Regardless, my parents expected me to pursue an academic degree. I was adamant about not going back. I knew that there was more for…

  • Fire Department,  Photography

    The Early Morning Came Up Lavender

    The early morning came up lavender, putting the stars to bed and filling the sky with gently glowing light. I thought about the weekend I spent visiting my mom, catching up with one of my closest friends, and visiting the places I used to know so well. I met up with my friend Andrew at the local diner in Middleburgh, New York. Andrew and I have known each other since he was 18. We met when we were both active in the fire department, and over the years we became close friends. For whatever reason, common trauma brings people together; Andrew and I were a team, and through our shared…

  • Diary

    There Is A Ceiling In The Darkness

    December 2, 2021 Last night I was plagued by nightmares in my sleep; recurring dreams in which I was dying through a series of tragic events. I spent the duration of yesterday thinking about my 22 year fire department career. Last night I as I lay awake, I realized that there is a ceiling in the darkness, and now is the time that I need to finally tell my story. These are the critical incidents I now think about, sometimes up to 10 minutes out of every day. The memories are always with me; they never go away, and time does not heal the wounds. Incident #1:When I was a…