“There isn’t really a typical day at the fire station, which is one of the many reasons I enjoy volunteering,” says Christina Coy, who is a volunteer firefighter for the NCFPD. Christina joined North County Fire in 2017, following 8 years in the Marine Corps. “My family has a long line of firefighters and being a volunteer firefighter is how I can keep that lineage going,” she explains.
She chose the NCFPD because the instructors she had while earning her EMT (Emergency Medical Technician) who work for North County Fire were, “…engaging, encouraging, and genuinely cared. I knew it would be a great department and it’s been amazing ever since.”
Her day typically begins with equipment checks, starting with her personal protective equipment followed by a rig check. “We go through each compartment of the engine to make sure we know about any new or replaced equipment,” she explains. This is followed by physical training and workouts; then professional training, “…to continuously improve our craft.” Christina continues, “We can work on anything from setting up a rope rescue system to practicing different types of hose pulls. Training at the station enables us to work on the muscle memory of performing tasks as well as gaining trust with each crew, so that we become a more cohesive team on an emergency incident,” she states.
When asked about the current needs of the NCFPD and how this impacts firefighters’ ability to carry out their responsibilities, especially in an emergency, Christina points to the need for upgrades to the District’s fire stations and equipment. “Station 4, for example, requires you to go into another building to respond to a call; and, that causes a delay in response time,” she explains. At Station 3, we have to adjust sleeping arrangements when I, and other females, are working on shift. When the stations were built, they didn’t have us in mind.”
She continues, “Some of the fire protection District’s equipment is old and, due to budget constraints, replacement has had to be placed on hold until it truly becomes unserviceable. Clearly, NCFPD needs the funding to keep up with the technology needed in order to better serve the community and better protect its firefighters.”
When asked about what she values most about being a volunteer firefighter with the NCFPD, she says, “Everyone treats it as a family and together we have a love for a career (that allows us) to serve our community as proficiently trained firefighters and part of an extremely high caliber fire department.”