For some people, the whining of fire alarms and wailing of sirens through town can inspire the desire to scream or run away. For Parker Dial, a senior studying exercise physiology, this is not the case.
While some students might be sleeping, hanging out with friends or doing late-night homework, Dial is a live-in firefighter. This means that at any point between the hours of 7 p.m. and 7 a.m., he can be called in to fight fires, break up fistfights and provide backup.
Dial grew up in Boise, and his dad was a Boise firefighter, so it has always been his plan to become a firefighter. Dial’s goal in coming to school is to become a full-time firefighter and go back to Boise.
“Growing up around the fire department, it became a second home to me,” Dial said. “My mom would take me and my siblings to the fire station to celebrate birthdays and holidays.”
Dial said there were some Christmases where his dad had to work, so they would sometimes take Christmas presents to the fire station to open them, or wake up very early before his dad left to open his presents.
Dial got his Emergency Medical Technician license while still in Boise, and then decided to come to BYU-Idaho in order to pursue his degree. He wanted to find an opportunity that would allow him to use his EMT and see a lot of action, and he heard about the positions at Madison Fire.
The live-in spot has helped him progress very quickly in his goals. The fire department put him through Firefighter 1 training recently. Firefighter 1 training is basic firefighter training and can be the stepping stone to a two-part training if the firefighter chooses to continue, according to this website.
“Ultimately, my end goal is to become a full-time firefighter, and this is a great experience for me to get a feel for what it’s like to be a firefighter while still going to school and getting my degree,” Dial said.
Dial said that it is a very rewarding job; it is a life of service and helping to make other people’s bad days better. He said it is a good feeling to be able to help someone who is having a very bad day.
It can get difficult to balance class life and firefighter life, but the fire station is very good at working with school schedules, and there are other live-in firefighters he can work things out with, Dial said.
“It also helps having four other live-ins back there,” Dial said. “If we’re really overloaded with homework one night, we can talk to the Captain, or we can talk to one of our roommates and ask if they want to trade shifts.”
Dial is working on his internship this semester, but he also has a roommate who is balancing firefighter life with 15 credits, so it is not impossible to balance a full school schedule with work.
“It’s a wonderful environment to work in,” Dial said. “You’re treated like family. You’re well taken care of.”