A Personal Narrative on the Author’s Childhood Dream of Becoming a Firefighter
Growing up on a fire station, the excitement that arose from the building piqued my curiosity of what went on within its walls. This interest soon turned into a dream. I wanted to be a firefighter when I grew up. As a kid, I remember running after fire trucks every time I heard the distinctive sound of their roaring sirens. I was mesmerized by firefighters and tried to watch as many firefighter-related movies as possible. Not only did they save other people’s lives, they risked their own lives fighting the biggest fires.
I saw firefighters heroically slide down the fire pole and decided that I would start my firefighting career in the playground by practicing sliding down the pole as well. However, as I began to get older, I saw that my idealistic vision of being a hero firefighter wasn’t reality. Although disappointed, I still held onto my dream of becoming a firefighter one day.
Unexpectedly, the chance of fulfilling my childhood dream came without notice. The day started just like any ordinary day. Waking up at 7 o’clock, I remembered it was the first day back to school from the long winter break and hurried as I got ready. As usual, school went forth as usual with no disturbances all through first, second, and third period. However, during our fourth period, we were in for a surprise. No one could have imagined what was to happen next. It all started suddenly with a siren that was so loud I couldn’t hear anyone screaming. As my teacher tried to calm the class down by saying it may be a fire drill, we started to see the lack of truth in her words. We saw black smoke swallowing the building. My teacher told us to stay in the classroom until she came back, but as minutes passed, the likelihood of her return seemed unlikely. My fear slowly turned into anxiety as I tried to figure out what was going on. I was the president of my classroom and thought I should take charge and lead the class out of danger. The flights of stairs to the main floor were all blocked by heavy smoke. I finally saw an opening: a small balcony located outside the classroom at the end of the hallway had not been blanketed by smoke yet. After successfully leading my peers outside, I made sure the third floor didn’t have anyone left behind and came back down to the main floor. There, I heard the familiar siren I used to chase after as a little kid.
The experience taught me how to rise up in stressful situations and, in this case, become a temporary firefighter. Even though my actions could have been seen as impulsive and dangerous by adults, in the end, it was my courage and leadership that helped my classmates to safety. Although I am not a firefighter, and probably won’t be, it’s comforting to see that I was one at heart. “Firefighters are not extraordinary—they are ordinary people in extraordinary situations.”