My Firehouse: A Community for Intellectual Growth

Essay #1 (Required for all applicants. Approximately 250 words) Everyone belongs to many different communities and/or groups defined by (among other things) shared geography, religion, ethnicity, income, cuisine, interest, race, ideology, or intellectual heritage. Choose one of the communities to which you belong, and describe that community and your place within it.


When people imagine a setting for intellectual enrichment, they often envision libraries, universities, and Fortune 500 businesses. Although a local firehouse does not usually cross their minds, it actually provides unparalleled enrichment for its members. As I stroll past the ambulances and fire engines and into the lounge, I immediately initiate a conversation with my colleagues about recent calls: we learn from our mistakes and design new tactics to ensure the highest order of care. We are the ultimate problem-solvers, meticulously pondering ways to bypass obstacles, the time-consuming impediments between life and death. We aspire to assist our colleagues worldwide in emergencies because we truly care about our occupation, thus stimulating advancement from every level of our profession.

Becoming a volunteer firefighter and EMT-in-training was the best decision of my life. As a member of the Great Neck Vigilant Fire Company, I encounter situations that test my physical and mental power. I must exhaust every iota of strength when hauling fire hose to attack a structural fire with my team. Ambulance calls require expert judgment in evaluating a patient’s vital signs in order to provide life-sustaining care. From extracting a...

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