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Deaf Is.. Career Examples... Firefighter

firefighter

My name is Greg Doskos and I am a firefighter in Simsbury, Connecticut. My two hearing brothers are and some of my good friends are firefighters, too. That's how I became interested in it..

There are two things I needed to do to do this job; (1) attend the Connecticut Fire Academy to get my Firefighter 1 Certification and (2) attend drills at the fire department every Monday night.

What I do

I answer fire calls on weeknights or the weekends.. whenever the page comes in. I do have limited responsibilities with the fire department. I mean, I can't enter a structure fire or a call involving hazardous material. The reason why is because I'd have to wear an air mask and couldn't read the other firefighters' lips because they'd be wearing air masks too. That would make communication too difficult.

How I communicate with other firefighters

Firefighter on LadderYou may wonder how I communicate with the other firefighters. Well, I can read their lips and I can speak to them as well. Some of the guys know how to fingerspell. Others are good using body language and gestures to communicate. Of course, communicating this way they show their good sense of humor! I have been doing this for about 13 years, and have communicated with the other firefighters just fine. I do use and interpreter at times, but only for the monthly meetings. I'm not the only deaf firefighter though! There are two other hard of hearing firefighters that I know of in this area.