Engine 224 Firefighter Al Coombs is proud to be a New York City Firefighter and United States Navy veteran. As we pause today to honor the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Coombs has a few words of wisdom to share with all future Firefighter Candidates. Read below to learn more about this amazing member of New York’s Bravest.
JoinFDNY.com: What are your thoughts about working in a career that allows you to continue Dr. King’s legacy by helping and uniting others?
Al Coombs: I take my job very seriously because it offers me the chance to show love and offer help to people of all backgrounds. The FDNY is becoming more diverse to reflect the reality of the city we serve. Firefighter don’t care what your ethnic, religious, or political values are. We help anyone in need indiscriminately. During a time of continued social change, I’m also honored to be able to work alongside selfless firefighters who exhibit and personify the core beliefs of an American hero like Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. We do this not with words, but in our actions, which is the true measure of a person’s character. To me, being a Firefighter is as much of a calling as it is a job. I take pride in offering help to people when they need it most and serving as a protector in the city I call home. It truly is an honor.
JoinFDNY.com: Tell us how serving in the military has helped you during your career as a FDNY Firefighter?
AC: Military service helped me improve my ability to remain calm under pressure and to stay focused during times of stress and danger. I also learned to put the mission first, which is imperative for effective teamwork.
JoinFDNY.com: How important is it to be physically prepared for this career?
AC: It’s extremely important and I strongly encourage all candidates to start training now. This job is physically demanding and we owe it to the people whose lives may depend on us to be in the best physical shape that we can be in at all times. Healthy living is a lifestyle choice I made as a boy. I always wanted to be a hero when I grew up, so I knew I’d have to maximize my physical and intellectual capabilities to be ready at all times. I always say that consistency is key as it relates to your success in healthy living and most aspects of life. One body, one life.
If you’re a current or prospective Firefighter Candidate, we have a section on our website that was created just for you. Click on the link below to learn more about getting prepared for this career.