Firefighter of Florence dedicated to helping people in need

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Florence firefighter Lance Grabill stands near a fire truck in Florence, South Carolina, Tuesday, Aug. 2, 2022. Grabill said his desire to become a firefighter was born when he realized the people needed help.  (Taylor Ford/The Morning <a class=News via AP)” title=”Florence firefighter Lance Grabill stands near a fire truck in Florence, South Carolina, Tuesday, Aug. 2, 2022. Grabill said his desire to become a firefighter was born when he realized the people needed help. (Taylor Ford/The Morning News via AP)” loading=”lazy”/>

Florence firefighter Lance Grabill stands near a fire truck in Florence, South Carolina, Tuesday, Aug. 2, 2022. Grabill said his desire to become a firefighter was born when he realized the people needed help. (Taylor Ford/The Morning News via AP)

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Lance Grabill said his desire to become a firefighter was born when he realized people needed help.

“Being a firefighter allows me to help people through their scariest times,” he said.

Grabill has been a firefighter for three years. He moved to South Carolina from South Florida.

“I want to make people’s day a little brighter when they need it,” he said. “People go through a lot. There are people who are really going through hard times and someone has to help them and I like to help.

Helping people is the best part of the job, he says.

“We help people who are really in need,” he said. “We’re not talking about people who need help, we’re talking about people in an emergency situation.”

Grabill said after completing his first call as a firefighter, there was no turning back.

“The instant gratification I received got me hooked,” he said. “It’s not like building a house and you have to wait months to see the finished product. You are able to see your impact immediately. When you’re done with a call, you see how you helped that person and saved their home or property.

Grabill said he was a family man and treated people as if they were his son, mother, daughter, grandmother, grandfather, sister or brother.

“I try to put myself in their shoes,” he said. “If I was in this situation, I hope a guy like me would be there to help my family with confidence and compassion when needed.”

Being a firefighter has changed his life, he says.

“Being a firefighter helps me release a lot of energy and you’re able to do and see a lot of things that others couldn’t,” he said.

Grabill said millions of people watch TV shows to see the situations he faces every day.

“We can do those things that people watch on TV every day,” he said. “It eases your life aggressions and stresses from physical activity and it gives your life real fulfillment.”

Grabill said being a firefighter boosted his self-esteem.

“Self-esteem is not something you can buy,” he said. “The things you do every day are what make you happy.”

“My value increases every time I help someone,” he continued. “After helping someone, I’m on a whole new level in my mind. The self-esteem I’ve gained is more important than any monetary amount you can offer me.

Grabill said self-esteem is an important quality to present to your families and children.

You have to be proud of yourself, he says.

“Be proud of your work, proud of your work and whatever you do, do it to the best of your ability. It’s self-esteem,” he said.

Grabill said he takes all calls seriously from someone who needs help with chest pain or someone who just got out of a serious car accident.

“I treat all calls equally and treat them with a level of seriousness because you never know,” he said.

Grabill said the hardest part of her job is watching families lose irreplaceable things.

“I always try to put myself in their shoes,” he said. “It really bothers me when people lose things that can’t be replaced. A sofa or TV can be bought again, but photos and documents are important. When we see documents and photos that are important to your family and close to your heart, we strive to get those things out of the house and preserve them.

Grabill said a firefighter’s job is more than putting out a fire.

“We handle everything from minor medical to major medical,” he said. “The firefighters are also called if there is a smell of gas. We also run electrical risks. We don’t just issue fire calls. People assume that when they hear fire truck sirens we’re headed for a fire, but that’s not always the case.

“Our work is complete,” he said.

Grabill said a lot of people think firefighters are sitting around doing nothing.

“We train at least four hours a day in addition to ongoing calls,” he said.

Before becoming a firefighter, Grabill said, he tinted windows.

“Being a firefighter broke the daily monotony of tinted windows,” he said. “We work 24 hours a day and we are away for 48 hours. With those 48 hours off, you can find a second job and spend time with your family.

Grabill said he was supposed to be a firefighter.

“It’s not one of those jobs you can do if you don’t like it,” he said. “If you don’t like it, you’ll probably go somewhere else. Being a firefighter is one of those jobs that you have to enjoy doing because it requires a lot of work and concentration.

Grabill said it’s not a job you can do halfway. He said it takes a full effort to do the job well.

“If that radio goes off at 2:30 a.m., we’re up, out of bed and in the truck in 10 seconds,” he said.

Firefighters everywhere have the same passion and mission, he said.

“I’m part of a bigger global team,” he said. “We are all passionate about serving our community and helping others.”

Grabill said he was not afraid of losing his life in the line of duty. He said firefighters are trained to handle life or death situations.

“It’s natural to think about it, but I’m not afraid of it,” he said. “No, I don’t want that to happen and I’m taking all the necessary precautions to prevent it from happening, but it’s a job where you have to put fear aside.

Grabill said a firefighter’s job is to help people who are already scared and it is not beneficial for a firefighter to be scared.

“People are already in scary situations and they need someone who is calm and able to get the job done,” he said.

Grabill said people shouldn’t fear the unknown because things are happening that are beyond our control.

“Accidents happen every day,” he said. “I could do this job for 20 years without getting injured on the job and I could drive to work tomorrow and something bad could happen.”

“I can’t live my life in fear when I could be hurt as easily or more by something beyond my control.”

Grabill said he was always relaxed and calm because being calm allows you to see a situation clearly.

“If you panic you are not able to think clearly and you need to be able to think clearly in all situations,” he said. “You have to stay calm and I always tell myself that the situation I’m in could be worse.”

Grabill said the best thing to do in life is to loosen the reins and let life take its course.

“I feel blessed to be able to help people,” he said. “Those are the things I focus on. I could be in a worse situation where I couldn’t help anyone and that’s how I stay calm. I remind myself that things could be worse and I move on.

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