Teamwork, Adrenaline, and the Ultimate Desk Job Anecdote:
Why Firefighter Damien Enderle Volunteers
In the fall of 2016, Damien Enderle realized he spent up to 10 hours a day in front of a computer screen and on conference calls. He enjoys his work-from-home marketing job, and has excelled at it. But he needed something more -
At the end of another long work day, Lisa, Damien’s wife, held up a fundraising envelope from the day’s mail. “Can we write a check again for Radnor Fire Company?” she asked. They had supported the company fund drive since they and their two teenage daughters moved from Washington, D.C., to Radnor – Damien’s hometown - a few years prior.
“No, don’t send a check. I’m going down there,” Damien said. “I’m going to join.”
Drawn to the promise of a physical challenge and regular exercise the fire service offered, Damien, now 50, walked into Radnor Fire with zero experience in emergency services. Through the free training and guidance from experienced volunteers –
some of whom love to remind him they are decades his junior – he became a firefighter.
“Riding that red truck is a hell of a lot of fun. It’s an adrenaline rush,” Damien said. But for him, being an integral part of a team is the best part of firefighting.
The Radnor Fire team responds to more than 800 calls a year. They extinguish fires, provide emergency medical care and transport, and rescue people from car accidents and other emergency situations. None of that can happen without everyone depending on everyone else, trusting in the strength of their training and the mutual understanding that they are all looking out for each other. “It makes you a better person,” Damien said.
Damien recently became a fire company board member and part of the recruitment committee, a job that allows him to talk to others about the volunteer fire service. Radnor Fire Company has a critical need for firefighters and emergency medical technicians, Damien said. What many don’t realize, he added, is that there are also many ways to volunteer in non-emergency support roles, such as maintaining the trucks and station and running special events and fundraisers.
Every role is important, and every role rewarding.
“Other than my wife and kids, it’s been the greatest decision I ever made,” he said. “I never envisioned giving back to the community I grew up in in the way that I’m able to now.”