Special Series: A Day in the Life of a Firefighter

A firefighter could start their day off the same way, millions of other Americans do. Or, they could start it off like this.

A call turns out to be a false alarm, so it’s back to the station. Contrary to popular belief, firefighters don't play cards all day.

"This is like our home away from home. We're required to keep our bathrooms clean, trash out, clean the dishes and floors, and windows," says Lt. Jarvis Bedford.

And like your house, they have many "chores" to do, only; it’s in between calls. For starters, they go grocery shopping, and they pay for their food themselves, as a shift.

Of course, if they shop together, they cook together.

“We sit down and eat as a family. Everything we do is based on that family atmosphere as a team because we have to trust each other."

"I love it. It's like a second home. We're a big family," says Gregg Timmons.

And after they eat, then they clean some more, while waiting for another call.

After Hazmat training, they may clean some more. Then there's equipment to be checked, and about an hour, hopefully uninterrupted, in the exercise room. Then, there's still more to do.

Finally when it's all done, the crew may take the opportunity to watch some TV as a group, while waiting for that call.

Another misconception the fire department wants to see cleared up: they say they never use their lights and sirens just to get through a traffic light.

Firefighters say, if you see them on the road, with the sirens going and then turn them off, its because the call was cancelled, and no other reason.