We grow up learning about firefighters and the heroes they are, but never the individual people that are behind such an important service. It’s a sacrifice that we often take for granted, never realizing how important the work they do is until we find ourselves in need of their help. This is something I first learned while working as a wildland fire dispatcher for the Bureau of Land Management in Wyoming. It became my goal to document the people behind fire and the emergency response services, to show the individuals that take on the very real responsibility of saving others while putting their own lives on the line. We do not realize that, behind the shiny red engines and fireproof uniforms, there are unique people living lives just like the rest of us. People with families and aspirations that we can all relate to, with the only difference being that these individuals commute to a job that regularly requires them to sacrifice their own safety and wellbeing for that of others.

I am so thankful for my time spent with the C Shift at the Orange County Rural Fire Station in Downtown Hillsborough. For the way this group allowed me to glimpse into their world to see what goes on behind the scenes to prepare for the unexpected every day. I hope, in creating this work, we can all reflect on the great sacrifices these individuals make every day, out of the goodness of their hearts, to protect the communities they call home. Thank you so much Cassie, Sean, Justin, Joey, Karl, Popsocket, and Josh.