Meet Firefighter Jason Palermo
What is your station/shift assignment?
I was originally assigned to Station 10 (Troy Dr.) on the ‘C’ shift coming out of academy. I was reassigned to the ‘A’ shift and moved to Station 7 (McKenna Blvd.) at the beginning of the new year 2022.
What attracted you to this career?
The daily aspect of the unknown. You don’t know what you're going to be faced with for that 24-hour shift. Rarely do you have the same calls every shift, so being able to get a variety of things keeping you on your toes is exciting and fun. It also puts you in a position to continue to learn. I think that continuous learning is good for myself, mentally and physically. You get community exposure and get to be hands-on with helping people in different ways. Being surrounded by sports my whole life, I get that family and locker room feeling where you are building a trust and bond with your co-workers while also challenging each other and keeping things competitive.
Do you remember your very first call after graduating the recruit academy?
My first day, I just happened to end up working with Firefighter Clinkscale as my senior firefighter. FF Clinkscale was someone I already knew on the job and built that bond with from our past playing football together. He made my first-day transition into the station comfortable and calls went smoothly. I'm pretty sure that the first call was a lift assist. We went in and confirmed that the person didn’t injure themselves from the fall. We got the person back up into a chair and I was amazed how grateful that person was just for helping them get back up. We told him to call us back if he needed us again. It was a simple yet rewarding first call.
What are among the most memorable experiences you’ve had so far at MFD?
I was three weeks into the station and working a trade for a friend. I happened to catch my first fire call with the Station 3A crew, a crew I had not worked with before. They were excited for me but also knew it was my first fire. They kept me calm and made it simple. I pulled the 300-foot pre-connect and put water on the fire. That was a hot day, and I remember it just happened to rain buckets twice that day.
Another memorable experience for me was working at Station 10 and there was a gunshot victim. The paramedics were calm, cool and collected, stating what they wanted and needed from us. We loaded the patient and assisted the paramedics in the back of the ambulance, transporting the patient stable and alive to the hospital.
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?
The rewarding aspects for calls have ranged from a simple lift assist to major calls and seeing how appreciative someone or their family is when taking care of them. Taking the time to make small talk with someone and how it can brighten up their day or the current situation can make a huge difference. Being a part of a crew that is working on a pulseless, non-breathing patient and getting pulses back, transporting that person and delivering them alive to the hospital has been very rewarding.