Editor’s note: This is one in a series of profiles in the Humans of Wausau series, which is funded in part through a grant from the B. A. & Esther Greenheck Foundation. Follow the Humans of Wausau Facebook page here.
By Kelli Oligney for Wausau Pilot and Review
Brianna Glodowski, 20, of Kronenwetter
Q: How can you best explain a day in the life of an EMT/Firefighter?
A: No two are ever the same. You can pretty much throw having a plan out the window. Your pager goes off at wonderful times.
Are you on call all the time?
All the time. Between SAFER and Kronenwetter I’m always doing something.
How did you decide to do that for a living?
I wanted to be a cop and I was a police explorer for awhile for the Wausau Fire Explorer Post and I was training and I just fell in love with it.
How long have you been doing it?
Since I was 16.
What would you say is one of the most memorable moments of your career?
The laundromat fire here.
Did you get called to it immediately?
Half an hour after Wausau Fire got paged out and I got to go up in SAFER’s ladder truck and watch the sunrise while there was fire below me.
Were you on the scene the entire time?
The majority of it.
What has been the hardest part of your career?
Coming to terms that you can’t save all your medical patients. Even if it’s a textbook witness job, you can’t always bring them back.
Has that happened a lot to you?
Yeah, that’s pretty difficult to deal with.
What would you say was the hardest age for you growing up and why?
Senior year because I was dealing with high school and getting my EMT license at the same time my parents were getting divorced.
Do you still get to see your parents a lot?
I talk to my mom all the time, but I don’t really talk to my dad.
What advice would you give to those that aren’t in your profession or those that wish to be?
For those looking to get into this, always take pride in what you do. Even if it’s “grandma fell over and needs help” or “help, my baby isn’t breathing,” both calls are an emergency and should be treated like that. Don’t show up with a bad attitude. For that person, it is an emergency and that’s why we are here.
Is there anything you have learned from your profession that would be helpful to those interested in pursuing it?
Train like there is no tomorrow, never keep questions to yourself because you will be surprised who knows what and what piece of advice they have that will stick with you.
What’s your favorite local spot?
Blue Willow. I love Blue Willow.
What do you typically order there?
Chicken tenders or a cheeseburger, but they have really good food. My best friend gets a Reuben every time and he loves that.
What’s a lesson you have learned in life?
Even if you get knocked down, you can come back up. Don’t let things get you down and even if it seems like the end of the world, it’s not.
What motivates you each day?
For my job, it’s family and friends because heaven forbid they ever call 911 and I have to respond. If they do, I want to be trained and ready enough to handle it. I want to be that person for everyone else who calls.
Were you ever called to a scene where you have known someone?
Yeah. The hardest call I ever had was someone I graduated with who overdosed and I didn’t know it was the individual until I got next to their face and they were dead. We, thank God, brought him back.
What’s your favorite quote and why?
“All gave some and some gave all.” It’s a firefighting quote. I’m heavily involved in the Honor Guard and it just means a lot because we’re all giving bits and pieces of our lives for this job. I’ve seen numerous people who were old enough to be my parents and someone who’s my age give everything for this job.
How do you leave work at work especially after a tragic event?
I hang out with my best friend Will and we get slushees.
Do you see yourself in this career for the rest of your life?
Yeah, I don’t think I could do anything else. I feel like I was born to do it.
What’s a hidden talent of yours?
I’m a confident friend. I’m an extrovert and naturally bubbly and people say I bring that out in them.