Valley firefighters discuss their risky profession - 21 News Now, More Local News for Youngstown, Ohio -

Valley firefighters discuss their risky profession

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YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio - Two major fires caught on tape this week showed just how much risk our first responders take when trying to save lives and property.

Two firefighters were killed and 12 were injured during a deadly blaze Wednesday in Boston.

On Tuesday firefighters narrowly escape injury at a huge fire in Houston. They helped rescue a worker just as the entire building collapses.

21 News showed the video to Youngstown firefighters.  They say seeing it and hearing it on TV can be very hard to take.

"It kind of puts your stomach in a knot because you can almost put yourself, in one time or another in your career you were in the same, not exactly the same, but a bad spot and you kind of relive those circumstances again and your compassion for them just gets that much greater," says Youngstown Fire Chief John O'Neill.

What might be the most frightening things about fighting a fire is the fear of the unknown. And when you walk into a burning structure you see literally nothing.

"You see all the movies like "Backdraft" but 90% of the time you're fighting a fire you walk in it's like putting a black hood over your head you have no eyes. Usually when you're in a fire you're talking a lot with your crews you're walking along touching a lot because that's all you have," says Youngstown Battalion Chief, Jim Drummond.

So why do they do it? They say it's a calling.

"This is what is going to be important to them what is going to make their lives worthwhile.  The greatest reward for us is saving lives saving people's property doing the best you can saving people when they are in the worst time of their life," says O'Neill.

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