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Those who keep us safe

Those who keep us safe: Amanda Blair



Amanda Blair
Amanda Blair (Photo submitted)

Amanda Blair has been a part of the firefighting community for several years now. For her, it’s not just about providing a public service, but about being a part of a bigger family.

Inspiration strikes

Growing up, Blair didn’t really plan on becoming a firefighter. However, her son, son-in-law, and step-daughter were all firefighters, and eventually, her husband, Wendell Blair, joined the Warren County Fire Services as well. Being part of the firefighting community allowed her to see how family-oriented it was, and she found herself drawn to it.

“I had no interest in doing anything like that. What led me to joining Warren County Fire Services was my son, who, at the time, was 14 years old,” said Blair. “He grew up loving firefighting and was determined to become a firefighter.”

Blair continued, “My son-in-law was a firefighter with Fisher Ferry, and my step-daughter, at the time, was also a firefighter with Fisher Ferry.”

After her husband joined the Warren County Fire Services, Blair found herself even more interested in becoming part of the firefighting community. “I said to myself, ‘I really like this. It is very family-oriented.’ You get to meet and greet the firefighters and support members.”

After learning more about what they do, Blair began to take more interest in joining the firefighting community.

Forging a path

Blair began her journey as a support member for the Warren County Fire Services in 2018. Her role involved helping the firefighters on the scene and providing assistance to homeowners who needed help the most.

In 2022, Blair moved to Bovina and transferred to the Bovina Fire Department. It was here where she found herself becoming more and more interested in firefighting.

“When we got there, firefighting grew on me, which made me decide that I wanted to become a firefighter. I want to do what they do,” said Blair.

In 2023, Blair obtained her certification to become a firefighter.

Wearing the turnout

When Blair finally had the opportunity to wear her turnout gear for the first time at the State Fire Academy, she admitted to feeling a bit overwhelmed.

“I thought ‘Oh my goodness, what did I get myself into?’ at first,” began Blair. “When I first put it on, I was kind of scared. But, you’ve got to have a little fear. I’m not scared to fight the fire, but I do respect the fire, itself.”

Despite her initial fear, Blair found herself filling the role comfortably and with confidence.

Role models

Blair considers her husband, Wendell Blair, and Robert Whitten as her role models who played an essential part in drawing her closer to the firefighting community.

Reflecting on Whitten’s influence, Blair remarked, “The vibe and passion he had for the fire department, and his wife as well, it really led me and drew me closer to loving being part of the fire department. They are so family-oriented. We became really good friends with Robert and his wife.”

Blair found that having friends within the department was essential and provided her with a support system both on and off the job.

“You always have someone you can look up to and have someone to call any time, day or night,” said Blair.

The most difficult thing

The most difficult thing that Blair has found about being a firefighter is witnessing the reactions of families who have just suffered a loss.

“Whether they are losing everything that they have or have lost a pet, or have lost a family member, the reaction of the family really affects you,” said Blair. “You start to think, what if this was my mom? What if that was my pet? You can’t help but think, how would I feel in their place?”

Despite the emotional toll, Blair sees herself as a lifelong firefighter.

Become inspired

Blair serves as the leader of the Warren County Fire Auxiliary and encourages others to join the community in any capacity they feel comfortable with.

“If you see that you want to come out and you want to support your community and help anywhere that you’re needed, absolutely. There are options out there. If you don’t want to get out there and fight fire, we have the Auxiliary. You can join that and still be a part of  the department and be a part of Warren County Fire.”

For those who wish to join in a more official capacity, Blair advises them to contact their local Fire Chief, who will be more than happy to discuss the process and get them started.

“Once you get in there and do it, it’s a passion. It is a heartwarming feeling knowing you just helped someone in need,” said Blair.

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