Nine years ago, Brian Giere saw a call for volunteers to join his town’s fire and rescue department. Having zero experience but knowing he wanted to help, he signed up, not realizing how important his role would become or how many people he would potentially help.
The volunteer team is on call 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Over the last nine years, Brian has answered approximately 600 emergency response calls and has more than 2,000 volunteer hours under his belt.
When asked why he volunteers, he’ll tell you he does it because there are people out there that need help. He also says his ambition and drive come not only from his faith, but his wife and two kids as well.
Brian has worked for DPS for 20 years (this year!) and was there when the DPS branch was just starting from scratch in Fargo, North Dakota. He mentions that volunteering has helped him in his role at DPS by allowing him to take on challenges calmly.
“We have challenges at work all the time that don’t go our way, but they’re all small in comparison to the fire side of it,” he says. “On the fire side, I’m in charge of the scene and I have seconds to save someone. It’s a lot of pressure and it’s intense, but when you come back to work, it puts things into perspective. Challenges suddenly don’t seem quite so challenging.”
Although the job can be emotionally draining, he says it helps him appreciate life so much more.
“You need to appreciate every day,” he says. “Count your blessings. Unfortunately, I have seen too many days where a family’s life has drastically changed in a single moment.”