Meet Firefighter Jenna Larson
Where are you stationed?
I am currently a firefighter on Engine 4, which is at Station 4 ("Bucky’s House") across from Camp Randall Stadium.
What attracted you to this career?
I really enjoyed my previous work experiences in other industries but was really looking for something more fulfilling. I wanted something where I could truly feel like I was making a difference. Additionally, I wanted a job where there was variety and not doing the same thing every day. After I began volunteering for fire and emergency medical services, I was hooked and knew it was exactly what I was looking for – a place where I could make a difference in other people’s lives and also never stop learning.
What are among the most memorable experiences you’ve had so far at MFD?
One of the days I will never forget: We were returning from a call and driving down State Street with the windows rolled down and a little girl was being pulled in a wagon by her mom. The little girl gasped and yelled, "Mom, look, it's a girl!" as we drove by, and I waved to her. I will never forget that day.
Medical responses are an important part of the service we provided. What have been the most challenging and/or rewarding aspects of these calls for you?
Emergency medicine is fascinating – there is always more to learn! Although we see some of the worst, it is such a humbling privilege to be able to be there and care for someone on potentially the worst or last day of their lives. There are days you go home and your heart hurts, but there are even more where you leave knowing you made a difference – and that gets you through the hard times.
What advice do you have for someone hoping to join the MFD as a firefighter/EMT?
Don’t give up, be patient! Learn the skills to be a good firefighter/EMT but also spend time engaging with your community. Volunteer, get involved in something not firefighting or EMS, and get to know the community and the people who live there.